This is the second in our series of how Brexit is being reported in the world’s press.
Our first port of call is Jamaica, where David Jessop, a consultant to the Caribbean Council, has written an article in today’s The Gleaner entitled Brexit And UK Overseas Territories – An Opportunity For New Thinking. Mr Jessop reports that in the event of a Leave vote, this may inadvertently affect the status that the UK’s territories in the Caribbean have with Europe (by which he means the EU), and that Anguila, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Calcos Islands along with other other overseas territories have jointly commissioned a study on the subject. The study will review not only the issues that would arise should a Leave vote prevail, but also give consideration to alternative options for the overseas territories with the UK and the EU, regardless of the outcome of the vote. The article mainly focuses on ambiguities in the status of their relationship with ‘Europe’ and describes how overseas territories are linked to the EU through the member state to which they belong as well as their membership of the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTA) and the EU’s 2013 Overseas Association Council Decision that the overseas territories are not part of the EU. This well-written article goes into the technical and legal details, and concludes by stating that Brexit is an unknown quantity that would have a direct impact on Britain’s overseas territories in the Caribbean and hence requires immediate consideration.
The New Times, Rwanda’s leading English daily, carries an opinion piece Brexit: What’s in it for Africa? written by Gitura Mwaura, which looks at how the EU’s CAP subsidises EU farmers to the detriment of competition as well as the tariff barriers that make it difficult for an African farmer to compete in European markets. Due to this a Ugandan based in London, Sam Akaki and his organisation the Democratic Institution for Poverty Reduction in Africa are urging African-Britons to vote for Britain to leave the EU. Mr Mwaura argues the pros and cons The author concludes by saying that:
The EU offers a template of possible triumphs, hazards and potential pitfalls, of which there are many to learn from.
In today’s edition of India’s The Asian Age, there is an opinion piece by columnist Farrukh Dhondy, The Brexit Circus, which begins by looking back at John Major, who, the author suggests, was one of the recent British PMs to be caught up in Britain’s obsession of to be or not to be a member of the EU. In this enjoyable article, Mr Dhondy recounts the conflicts within the Conservative Party that ended up with Major calling the opponents of the decision to sign the Maastricht Treaty “bastards”. The author then turns to today’s British Parliament where Mr Cameron, like John Major, finds himself presiding over a Tory Party and government implacably divided over ‘Europe’. He tells his readers that the Tory election manifesto promised the British electorate an in/out referendum and that the (non-binding, although he doesn’t seem to be aware of that yet) negotiations are over, the referendum is set for June and Mr Cameron advocates staying in. As might be expected, enter Boris Johnston and Michael Gove, the latter being described as an honest Joe trusted by the population. As for Boris, Mr Dhondy concludes:
It is no secret that Mr Johnson wants to succeed Mr Cameron as Prime Minister and he is taking a gamble. If the Brexit-wallahs win, he will certainly be seen as the natural successor. If not he has acquired the status of “bastard” and may have to accept the fate of Edmund in King Lear.
In the Gulf Times pops up a syndicated article penned by Noelle Lenoir, a former French minister of European affairs who is president of the European Institute at the Hautes Études de Commerce in Paris and founder and president of Cercle des Européens, entitled It’s essential to defeat the Brexit conspiracy. From an author from such a background, we get the all the usual fearmongering arguments supporting a remain vote, which you can read for yourselves; it concludes:
Today, far from championing Europe’s right to live, the UK is putting it at risk. And, in doing so, it is putting its own economy in greater danger than any time since the end of World War II.
As the continent faces the most difficult challenges it has seen in more than a generation, neither Europe nor the UK can afford such a self-defeating distraction.
From the same newspaper appears another syndicated article by Ted Smyth, a communications and public affairs strategist based in New York, and a former Irish diplomat Brexit debate opening up sectarian divisions. Mr Smythe informs us that:
For more than 40 years the EU has provided the benign and neutral political framework that has helped foster and preserve the peace between Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists in Northern Ireland. But now it is English nationalists – an increasingly strident faction of Cameron’s Conservative Party and the vociferous right-wing UK Independence Party – who threaten to undo that progress.
He concludes that the debate on Brexit is leading people across “Europe” to ask the question: “What does Europe mean for them?” citing that the Czech government has hinted it would also consider leaving if Britain did. In his final sentence he returns to Northern Ireland by saying that one thing is sure:
Those with any interest in peace in Northern Ireland will be hoping that the British stick with Europe.
Other articles from today’s world press mentioning Brexit include:
Obama to visit UK to argue against Brexit from Politico.eu.
And finally, Sinn Féin to call for vote on a united Ireland if the UK backs Brexit courtesy of JOE.ie