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UK signs Trade Continuity Agreement with Eastern and Southern Africa

Amongst the Brexit uncertainty, the United Kingdom has signed a trade continuity agreement with Eastern and Southern Africa.

The continuity agreement has as its aim to remove any uncertainty should the UK leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a deal or in the event that it leaves with a deal.

The continuity agreement (also called the UK-ESA Agreement) replicates the trade benefits that the UK and Eastern and Southern Africa enjoy under the existing Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union. There will therefore be no disruption to trade between the UK and Eastern and Southern Africa, other than perhaps logistic issues. The agreement covers Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

The continuity agreement was singed on 31 January 2019 however it will either come into effect on in January 2021 when the implementation period under the current Brexit deal ends or on 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, provided that all parties ratify the new agreement.

Rian Geldenhuys
© Trade Law Chambers 2019

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