BUSINESS MONDAY: Humphrey: Be proactive!
FORMER Barbados Ambassador to the European Union, Errol Humphrey, is telling Barbados that it must be more proactive in going after benefits once the United Kingdom exits the European Union.
In a presentation at the recent Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) conference, Humphrey advised that “we must not simply sit in a corner waiting to be called”.
His comments came amid concerns that with the UK leaving the EU, there will be uncertainties for Barbados and CARIFORUM relations with both regions and fallouts with respect to benefits, including the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Instead, Barbados and the other countries must seek assurances about continuity of long-term UK and EU development assistance, Humphrey advised.
“We must seize the opportunity to pursue any EPA-related concerns with the EU-EPA,” he stated.
“Despite prevailing uncertainty, Barbados and CARIFORUM must not sit idle waiting for outcome,” Humphrey advised.
He told the ICAB function that while the UK might be willing to help, we need to help ourselves by telling them what we want.
The former ambassador indicated that CARIFORUM states have agreed with the UK to roll over EPA provisions as an insurance policy and we must be prepared to engage with post-Brexit UK, seeking enhanced development support.
Humphrey believes that there is a role for the local private sector institutions including ICAB, which must push Government to timely action. “Government needs effective feedback from private sector to ensure appropriate preparations
for addressing post-Brexit fallout,” the official said.
In addition, he believed the private sector needs to implement well-conceived strategies to take advantage of favourable access to the EU and UK.