UWI’s Diplomatic Academy looks at implications of the Post-Brexit UK-Caribbean Relationship

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union or Brexit, which took full effect on January 1, has introduced new opportunities and challenges for the long-standing UK-Caribbean partnership, just as the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated uncertainty in processes of international cooperation and multilateralism. This was the view of participants at a webinar, titled ‘Brexit: Implications for the Caribbean and the Future of UK-Caribbean Relations’, hosted on March 31 by The University of the West Indies St. Augustine’s Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (The UWI DAOC).

The webinar brought together over 70 persons, hailing from a diverse practitioner community and academia, to share perspectives and policy recommendations on a new chapter in UK-Caribbean relations, stemming from Brexit.

DAOC Manager, Dr. Nand C. Bardouille, pointed out that “the timing of the webinar could not have been better” and underscored that the event took place a few days after the March 16 release of Global Britain in a competitive age, the major policy document that sets out the UK government’s vision for the country’s role in the world. Further, the 10th United Kingdom-Caribbean Ministerial Forum, which the two sides leverage to make steady progress in their partnership, was held virtually on March 18.

During the webinar, participants focused to a considerable degree on the policy document as well as the outcome documents of the Ministerial Forum.

Webinar panellists were Ambassador Gail Mathurin, Director General, Office of Trade Negotiations within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat; Dr. Tres-Ann Kremer, Head of Good Offices for Peace & Caribbean Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat; Ambassador Errol Humphrey, International Trade and Development Consultant; Dr. Damie Sinanan, Manager, Competitiveness and Export Promotion, Caribbean Export Development Agency; and Dr. Kusha Haraksingh, Honorary Consultant, Office of the Vice-Chancellery, The UWI.

The webinar received high praise, with participants attributing its success to the panellists’ deep, first-hand knowledge of the subject matter and the highly interactive exchange of views.