Brexit Debate

Honourable Chairperson…

Whether we agree or disagree with the UK's decision to turn its back on Europe, let's focus on the new opportunities that it presents for trade and to grow our economy.

The UK is historically among South Africa's most important trading partners; these links must be strengthened in the new European context. 

If government does its homework, Brexit could hold important benefits for South Africa through the development of stronger trade partnerships with Europe.

Honourable Members…

Honourable Minister Patel should take the nation into his confidence on our preparations for Brexit:

  • How do we position ourselves to continue growing our relationship with the UK?

  • What current talks are between our President and the newly installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in order to grow new relationships with the UK?

  • And, how are our consultations with European leaders progressing? What is their stance with respect to trade with Africa after Brexit comes into effect?

Honourable Chairperson, it is not rocket science to observe that increased trade with the UK and Europe will result in more jobs especially for our youth. 

This can only be positive, as we see the rise of youth unemployment in our country and the desperate need to skill our young people to become employable. 

GOOD has always been clear. Directly creating jobs is not government's role. Its role is to lay foundations for an environment favourable to job creation to position our country to succeed.

With Brexit looming large on the horizon, the work government does behind the scenes today will impact how our country looks tomorrow.

If we are seen to be turning the corner on corruption;

  • creating conditions conducive to trade such as reducing red tape,

  • investing in our infrastructure,

  • building a world class transport system,

  • securing our ports and harbours; and

  • providing policy certainty to investors, we will be well positioned to benefit from Brexit.

Let us not waste this opportunity.

I thank you.

Cameron Arendse