As the UK walks away from the EU I feel a tinge of sadness at how this unnecessary breakup managed to materialise.
Having collaborated on behalf of the UK public sector with EU counterparts for many years I look back at that period with a degree of satisfaction knowing that member countries benefited greatly from our efforts. Lives were saved in more ways than one.
But the UK has spoken, Boris Johnson has acted and now we move on.
Well done Nigel Farage and the media fraternity for pulling off this British caper. Tony Blair, this BREXIT drama is on you due to your stubbornness as PM. Now the UK’s fortunes is in the hands of Donald Trump.
But what I would say to CARICOM (Caribbean Community) leaders is that the UK’s exit from the EU could be a blessing. CARICOM leaders should seriously consider lobbying the EU to become associate members; just as the likes of Israel, Tunisia and a host of other nations have successfully done.
The Commonwealth has long been a glorified talk shop where the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have been dismissive of the other members’ interests. Time for CARICOM to take steps to strengthen links with the EU that benefits both parties.
This is a fitting moment for CARICOM leaders to look beyond the usual US, UK and Canadian belt for greater access to free movement of goods, services, capital and people.
As we have seen recently the Trump administration continues to play mind games in the region to divide CARICOM over policies relating to Cuba and Venezuela.
Such a lobbying approach by CARICOM to the EU may seem far-fetched but you just never know. If CARICOM leaders can charm the key personnel in Brussels, Paris and Bonn then some form of progressive deal could be in the works.
Remember, CARICOM’s Guyana has oil and gas; lots of it and that could be a useful bargaining chip going forward.