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Brexit Beyond the UK's Borders: What It Means for Africa

Der Brexit jenseits der Grenzen Großbritanniens: seine Folgen für Afrika
[Arbeitspapier]

Ansorg, Nadine; Haastrup, Toni (Hrsg.)

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Körperschaftlicher Herausgeber GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies - Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien, Institut für Afrika-Studien
Abstract The result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on leaving the EU, which was held on 23 June 2016, has profound geopolitical, economic, and social implications for Africa. This is all the more the case given the bilateral UK–Africa relationship and interregional Africa–EU relations. In economic terms, those African countries that rely most on trade with the UK - Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya - will suffer in the event of a recession in the UK. They will also feel the uncertainty that comes with renegotiating economic partnerships, which could take years. A recession in the UK would also call into question the country's ability to fulfil its aid and development commitments. Initial evidence suggests that the new government's focus will be more on strengthening trade relations than helping those most in need. African states will lose an important advocate within the EU, creating a climate of uncertainty around economic relations. In the past, the UK has advocated for the reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, even though it has failed to secure substantive changes. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU Common Security and Defence Policy will have implications for the EU's security practices in Africa. It will affect the financial contributions to EU-led support for the African Peace and Security architecture, and thus donors' ability to maintain much needed support in this area. Brexit challenges the European integration project and the EU’s credibility in promoting regional integration. However, it also presents learning opportunities for the process and pace of regional integration in Africa. Policy Implications: The results of Brexit and its immediate aftermath, particularly the cabinet of the new British prime minister Theresa May, are not inspiring for African perceptions of the UK. While the new British government will focus on securing short-term economic benefits, African countries will increasingly turn towards other funding and trading partners such as China, Brazil, or India. The remaining European countries will need to counter Britain's exit from the European Union by increasing their engagement in trade, development, and security policies in Africa. A recession in the UK would also call into question the country’s ability to fulfil its aid and development commitments. Initial evidence suggests that the new government’s focus will be more on strengthening trade relations than helping those most in need. African states will lose an important advocate within the EU, creating a climate of uncertainty around economic relations. In the past, the UK has advocated for the reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, even though it has failed to secure substantive changes. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU Common Security and Defence Policy will have implications for the EU’s security practices in Africa. It will affect the financial contributions to EU-led support for the African Peace and Security architecture, and thus donors’ ability to maintain much needed support in this area. Brexit challenges the European integration project and the EU’s credibility in promoting regional integration. However, it also presents learning opportunities for the process and pace of regional integration in Africa. Policy Implications The results of Brexit and its immediate aftermath, particularly the cabinet of the new British prime minister Theresa May, are not inspiring for African perceptions of the UK. While the new British government will focus on securing short-term economic benefits, African countries will increasingly turn towards other funding and trading partners such as China, Brazil, or India. The remaining European countries will need to counter Britain’s exit from the European Union by increasing their engagement in trade, development, and security policies in Africa.
Thesaurusschlagwörter Great Britain; EU; bilateral relations; Africa; referendum; recession; commerce; international economic relations; political negotiation; security policy; economic development (on national level); development aid policy
Klassifikation internationale Beziehungen, Entwicklungspolitik
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2016
Erscheinungsort Hamburg
Seitenangabe 10 S.
Schriftenreihe GIGA Focus Afrika, 3
ISSN 1862-3603
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; nicht begutachtet
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerz., Keine Bearbeitung
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