UK seeks deeper ties with global partners as it leaves EU today

Diplomatic Correspondent

31 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

As the UK formally leaves the European Union (EU) today (on Friday), Britain sees a real opportunity to do more on trade, development and other areas in the longer term with Bangladesh.

“There’s an increasing focus in the UK on the opportunities,” British envoy to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson told diplomatic correspondents at his residence yesterday (Thursday) mentioning that Britain will explore how they can best trade with Bangladesh.

The High Commissioner wants to see the Brexit as an “opportunity” to do more as the UK seeks to deepen its relationship with global partners in the future.

The UK will immediately enter an 11-month transition period after its formal departure from EU. During the transition the UK will continue to obey EU rules and pay money to the EU.

Most things will stay the same but there will be some changes: UK’s 73 MEPs will automatically lose their seats in the European Parliament, British Prime Minister or ministers will also no longer attend regular EU meetings, UK will return to the “iconic” blue-and-gold design, first used in 1921 from the current burgundy design, about three million commemorative 50p Brexit coins bearing the date “31 January” and the inscription: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”, will enter circulation on Friday, UK’s Brexit department will shut down etc.

As a Least Developed Country (LDC), Bangladesh benefits from the most favourable regime available under the EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP), namely the Everything but Arms (EBA) arrangement.

EBA grants the 48 LDCs - including Bangladesh - duty-free quota-free access to the EU for exports of all products, except arms and ammunition. The UK will be able to start talking to countries around the world about setting new rules for buying and selling goods and services.

In the long term, the British High Commissioner said they will be doing more noting lots of business and investment interests in Bangladesh.

Quoting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, High Commissioner Robert said, “Next Friday marks an important moment in the history of our United Kingdom. No matter how you voted in 2016, it’s the time to look ahead with confidence to global, trail-blazing country we’ll become over the next decade and heal past divisions.”

That is what, the British Prime Minister said, he will be doing on January 31. “I urge everyone across the UK to do the same.”