By Shaahidah Riza
The terms of GSP plus will have to be renegotiated, since the United Kingdom has pulled out from the European Union (EU), said Deputy Minister for State Enterprise Development Eran Wickremeratne.
Last Friday (23), the EU referendum in the UK revealed that 51.9 per cent chose to leave the EU whilst 48.1 per cent chose to remain.
He said there will be no other long-term repercussions to Sri Lanka caused by Brexit and that it was too early to comment … on the current situation. “We will have to renegotiate trade with the remaining countries of the EU, and the UK, if the UK exits the EU,” he added.
He further noted that Sri Lanka’s non-aligned foreign policy will not change if Britain appoints ‘an extremist leader’ from the far right following Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation.
Commenting on whether racism was a reason for Brexit, which would also impact Sri Lankans living and studying in the UK, he noted that the people of UK would abhor it.
“Racism is common in many countries. The same can be said of Sri Lanka. However the people will abhor it. It is only a minority who engage in racism,” he said.
He also noted that Sri Lanka’s non-aligned foreign policy would also remain constant if the Presidential candidate nominated by the Republican Party Donald Trump emerges victorious at the forth coming US elections. “Sri Lanka’s foreign policy goes in line with economic trade with other countries. Sri Lanka has trade relations with the US. We have to go beyond an individual’s campaign rhetoric and focus on policies instead,” he said.