Joint statement on the meeting of the UK, CARIFORUM states on future trade relations

  1. Thursday 16  November 2017,   Greg Hands, the Honourable Minister responsible for Trade Policy in the United  Kingdo(UK) met with the Honourable Ministers and  representatives of the CARIFORUM  States to discuss the trade  relationship  between the UK and the CARIFORUM  States as the  UK leaves the European  Union.
  2. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)  between the CARIFORUM States  (Antigua  and  Barbuda, The  Bahamas,  Barbados,  Belize,  Dominica,  Dominican  Republic,  GrenadaGuyana,  Haiti, Jamaica, Saint  Lucia,  St Vincent  and  the  Grenadines,  St  Kitts  and  Nevis,  Suriname  and  Trinidad and  Tobago) and the European Union (EU) and its Member States was signed in and has been provisionally applied since  2008.
  3. The UK is in the process of exiting the EU. While the UK remains a member of the EU, trade  between the CARI FORUM  States  and the UK will  continue to take place  under the terms of the CARIFORUM• EU  EPA.
  4. The CARIFORUM Ministers welcomed the UK’s commitment to the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and  its intention to avoid disruption for its trading partners as it withdraws from  the EU. The CARIFORUM Ministers also welcomed the UK’s desire to maintain current market access to the UK following its withdrawal from the EU, and to ensure continuity of the effects of the CARI FORUM-EU EPA.
  5. The two sides agreed to  progress discussions to explore  ways to ensure that the existing trade arrangement  between  the UK and  CARIFORUM  States,  currently  governed by the CARIFORUM-EU EPA,  will  not  be disrupted  by the  UK‘s  departure  from  the EU.  This will be a technical exercise to ensure continuity in their preferential trading relationship, rather than an opportunity to renegotiate existing terms.