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The ‘Brexit’ fall out in the Caribbean

Since the Brexit vote was declared on the morning of June 24, 2016, sosme of the predictions fell into place almost immediately, if not sooner. As described in most of the following, coming out of the Caribbean is the fact that for those tourism countries, Montserrat included, with sterling taking the dive it has currently, its value against the dollar is not worth much or as much as it did even a month ago.

Montserrat says it has aid policy agreement with European Union

BRADES, Montserrat, Jun 28, CMC – Montserrat’s Premier Donaldson Romeo says Britain’s decision to leave the European Union will not adversely affect the British Overseas Territory’s aid package with Europe.

“While the Brexit vote may mean changes to EU aid policy in coming years Montserrat has an aid agreement directly with the EU which will be in place until 2020,” Romeo said in a national broadcast.

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier Donaldson Romeo

He said the decision to leave the 43 year-old European Union grouping has already resulted in a fall in the exchange rate for the British currency and that his administration would be holding talks with London on the issue, promising citizens that the government would seek to “negotiate for the best terms possible.

Britons last Thursday voted by a margin of 52-48 to leave the EU prompting the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who has indicated that he will step down in October.

Romeo said that over the past few days “there has been a wide range of views and much concern and uncertainty here in Montserrat and in the wider Caribbean.

“That is why we must continue to put our house in order so that we could be in the strongest position to cope with whatever unfolds,” he said, noting that his administration would continue with its stringent and open transparent policies regarding the funding of projects on the island.

“That will put us in a position to be properly funded and supported in key projects like the hospital, port, geothermal, fibre optic cable, housing etc,” said Romeo, who leads the only BOT that also belongs to the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.

Regional leaders are expected to discuss the Brexit during their summit in Guyana July 4-6.

Romeo said that it was important now for all Montserratians to unite in a bid to rebuild the volcano-ravaged island saying “we recognise and respect the historic democratic vote by the people of the United Kingdom.

British High Commissioner, Victoria Dean

British High Commissioner,
Victoria Dean

“We express appreciation for the way in which the British government and people have continued to support Montserrat through the period of crisis and even now in our post volcano redevelopment phase,” he said, adding “we affirm our commitment to working in partnership with Her Majesty’s government”.

He said that his administration also stands by the UK’ policy’s decision towards Montserrat as stated in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office White paper of 2012 that is based on international law.

“The reasonable assistance needs of the territories are the first call on the UK’s international development budget,” Romeo quoted the document as indicating, saying “such commitments simply do not depend on whether or not the UK is a member of the EU.

“Our policy going forward is therefore simple and clear. We stand with Britain as Britain stands with us in partnership,” Romeo told the nation.

Meanwhile, the Barbados-based British High Commissioner, Victoria Dean, has sought to re-assure the Caribbean that London’s aid package to the region would not be diminished.

“It should be clear that nothing will change overnight. British tourists will keep coming to the region, keep contributing to the local economy and keep enjoying these beautiful islands,” she said, adding that the “re-energised partnership between the UK and the Caribbean, launched by my Prime Minister on his visits to the region last autumn, will continue”.

She quoted him as saying that London wants to help the Caribbean on its path of development, adding “that has not changed.  The UK remains the largest bilateral donor to the region.

“Our cooperation with the Caribbean is an important part of who we are and what we do.  Our close co-operation and partnership is underscored by our deep links, bonded by our shared values and through our close linguistic, historical, cultural and political ties.  These are essential to our relationship and will not change.”

Grenada says Britain’s decision has lessons for CSME

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada Friday said it regretted the decision of Britain to pull out of the European Union but said “the world must accept and respect the democratic process and the will of the people”.

“The Caribbean region must use this decision to examine our own Single Market and Economy, and the implications of this for trade and other relations, and adjust accordingly,’ Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said in a brief statement.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) allows for the free movement of skills, goods, services and capital across the 15-member regional integration movement.

Britons voted to exit the European Union (EU) by a 52 to 48 per cent margin resulting in the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that he would be resigning and a new leader appointed in October.

Mitchell said that “it is with great regret that Grenada notes the decision of the British people to leave the European Union” and that ‘while many of us would have preferred a different result, the world must accept and respect the democratic process and the will of the people”.

He said that Grenada is forever grateful to Prime Minister David Cameron for his recent initiative to re-engage the Caribbean region and assist in the island’s infrastructural and other development.

“We also thank him for his historic and memorable visit to Grenada last September. It is our hope that Britain’s new leadership will continue Prime Minister Cameron’s agenda for the Caribbean,” he added.

PM shocked by “Brexit” vote

by STAFF WRITER

CASTRIES, St.Lucia , Jun. 26, CMC – The recent ‘Brexit’ vote in the UK has been described as shocking by St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet.

Speaking from Miami, Chastanet asserted that it was too early to make a real determination as to its total impact.

The St Lucia Prime Minister who returns here Sunday from his first overseas trip since his victory at the polls on June 6, noted that the initial shock from the development was a devaluation of the pound.

He said this was a major concern.

The former Tourism Minister observed that the UK is a huge tourism market for St Lucia and disclosed that this country is also an important destination for British nationals buying real estate.

He explained that with a devalued pound it would become more expensive for them to both vacation here and buy real estate.

“There are so many ways that you can spin this.”

Chastanet said he was hesitant to make a full comment until he knows what the final decision is going to be.

“Clearly David Cameron resigning and potentially a new Prime Minister coming in – whether that person continues down the path of the decision of the referendum, is to be seen,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader said.

He observed that there are already two million people who have signed a petition for there to be a new referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union.

“It is very early and it is shocking,” adding that the vote will have major ramifications.

Concerning St Lucia’s banana trade he said “The UK will be a separate entity and will not have to conform to European Union laws in terms of free trade.” Chastanet questioned whether that could lead to a resurgence of St Lucia’s banana market.

“There are just too many questions that remain unanswered at this point,” the Prime Minister declared.

Meanwhile Opposition leader, Philip J. Pierre, believes it is too early to determine what the impact of a vote by the UK to leave the European Union will have on the Caribbean.

A former Tourism Minister, Pierre observed that the immediate effect of the UK vote to leave the European Union was a decrease in the value of the pound.

He stated that if the pounds stays down, UK visitors will have less money to spend because their currency will be worth less.

The UK is St Lucia’s third largest tourism market.

Brexit has important lessons for Eastern Caribbean — ECCB Governor
By Kenton X. Chance

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Jun 28, CMC — The decision by voters in the United Kingdom (UK) last Thursday to leave the 28-member European Union (EU) has serious implication for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine has said.

Antoine has described the decision as “a really big move” and urged Caribbean nationals to appreciate the value of their own regional integration institutions.

ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine.

“A lot of this creates a sense of uncertainty,” he said, noting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions have projected that the British economy, the world’s fifth largest, could go back into recession as early as next year.

“Obviously, we are very concerned because the UK is an important source market for us in terms of tourism and that could affect us,” Antoine told reporters here.

He said that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU could, over time, affect aid to the Caribbean, even as he noted that the UK has about two years before leaving the 43-year-old grouping.

“But clearly, any downturn in the UK economy can have a potential adverse impact on the Caribbean economies, especially with regards to tourism and, to some extent, trade and remittances.”

Britons last week voted by a margin of 52-48 to leave the EU prompting the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who has indicated that he will step down in October.

Antoine said it is important to recognise that the single biggest concern that central bank governors and persons in the financial sector have is uncertainty.

“We know what could happen but we are not sure what would happen because it depends on how the negotiations take place, how fast they exit, how the global economy responds. But uncertainty is never a good thing. It affects confidence, so, obviously, we are very concerned about that.”

Uncertainty has seen the value of the pound sterling against the Eastern Caribbean Dollar falling by almost 50 cents since the results of the referendum.

Antoine said the ECCB is well organised in terms of its portfolio and, therefore, does not have any particular concerns in that regard.

“We are in high-quality assets, and, if anything, there will be a flight to quality, which means that we may see some capital appreciation over time.

“The downside is that we may see our investment income may not come as quickly because our interest rate may get cut. There may be delays in raising interest rates because, obviously, in the current environment, there may have to be further quantitative easing to support the UK economy and the global economy to ensure that it does not go back into recession or to minimise the risk of its going back into recession.”.

Antoine said a lot of what drove the UK to leave the EU is “this global discontent about globalisation — that the fruits of globalisation are not being equitably shared.

“The decision is premised on fear: fear of losing control; fear about immigration — people coming in your country; fear and lack of fair share, where some people feel that globalisation is not delivering enough benefits — some people get in but not enough people benefitting.

“That is what is driving a lot of this. So you’re seeing this rise in economic nationalism; you’re seeing the rise in right-wing movements; you are seeing what you see in the U.S.; you are seeing what you see in the UK and other parts of Europe.”

Antoine noted that people are questioning some of the international and regional institutions and whether or not they are getting value and the cost-benefit analysis.

“I want to say that in this region, we have to very mindful of the important contribution regional integration had made and is making to our economic development. I ask the simple question, ‘Where would we be without the ECCB?’ Can you imagine every country trying to run a central bank? It would be a disaster.

“So, the regional institutions have helped us. Now, of course, we must ensure that they continue to work for us and that’s why the responsibility of institutions such as ours — the Central Bank, is to make sure we’re engaging people — that people are a part of what is going on, they feel a part of it; that they are able to share their views and we are able to listen to them and make the right and appropriate policy adjustments and recommendations.”

He said that in the UK, there is a sense somewhat of a disconnect between what is going on in some of these bodies, like the European Commission and how people in rural and northern England feel about what’s going on.

Antoine noted that London voted to stay in the EU by about 70 per cent because, as the financial centre, Londoners are benefitting from the EU, but other people who are not benefitting as much opted out.

“So there are some important lessons for us to reflect on as a region with this Brexit decision,” Antoine said.

Guyana gets assurances from Britain despite EU vote

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 27, CMC – Britain has sought to give Guyana the assurance that it will be business as usual, at least for the next two years even though London has voted to get out of the European Union.

“In the short term as the Foreign Minister (Carl Greenidge) nothing will change as the Foreign Minister has also said there are legal obligations and legal agreements around EU development assistance,” said, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, in a video message posted on the British High Commission Facebook webpage on Monday.

Greg Quinn

Britons last week voted by a 52-48 margin to leave the 43 year-old European Union grouping that has also led to the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron who will demit office in October.

Caribbean countries ate still analysing the implication of the vote and there are concerns here that the UK decision could have on its development aid to countries like Guyana, which is set to receive £53.2 million (One British Pound =US$1.32 cents – June 27) in British aid.

Quinn said that the United Kingdom is expanding its commitment to the Caribbean and Guyana saying “that also will not change.

“As I sit here today I can tell you that the UK is committed to Guyana and will continue to be committed to Guyana whether we are a member of the EU or not, we are still and will remain a major player on the world stage,” the British diplomat said.

He said that it could take as long as two years or more before the UK completely exits the EU despite the vote last week.

“It will be a long process. It will be a complicated process and I suspect that it will be a difficult process. In the interim, the UK remains a member of the European Union with all the rights, responsibilities and obligations that membership brings”, he said.

Commentary – Winston Barnes: Brexit, Three

SOUTH FLORIDA – The crises which have been precipitated by, Brexit – Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union is not going to go away any time.

Further, Britain is going to survive if only because it has to. This however should not be reason for thoughtful people to deny certain realities.

Among those realities, membership in the union has brought a number of liabilities for Britain.

I am still convinced that the lowering of social standards of behavior by immigrants is something that is a cause for concern, but exiting from an organization which has brought some benefit to Britain was not the only solution.

But even more in need of examination is that politicians played a number on voters in Britain.

The rumblings in the Labour Party are an indication that even the members of parliament on that side of the house are not pleased.

There has to be a lesson in this for all voters in democratic societies.

Being a citizen in a democracy calls for serious work at the game of democracy, if you prefer, politics. It entails searching out the factual issues; looking for alternatives to what even those you support have suggested.

If nothing else, the Brexit vote last week demands that a voter must be informed and not merely follow the crowd or the politicians who make the most noise or raises your anger level the highest.

Voters need to think for themselves.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Since the Brexit vote was declared on the morning of June 24, 2016, sosme of the predictions fell into place almost immediately, if not sooner. As described in most of the following, coming out of the Caribbean is the fact that for those tourism countries, Montserrat included, with sterling taking the dive it has currently, its value against the dollar is not worth much or as much as it did even a month ago.

Montserrat says it has aid policy agreement with European Union

BRADES, Montserrat, Jun 28, CMC – Montserrat’s Premier Donaldson Romeo says Britain’s decision to leave the European Union will not adversely affect the British Overseas Territory’s aid package with Europe.

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“While the Brexit vote may mean changes to EU aid policy in coming years Montserrat has an aid agreement directly with the EU which will be in place until 2020,” Romeo said in a national broadcast.

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier Donaldson Romeo

He said the decision to leave the 43 year-old European Union grouping has already resulted in a fall in the exchange rate for the British currency and that his administration would be holding talks with London on the issue, promising citizens that the government would seek to “negotiate for the best terms possible.

Britons last Thursday voted by a margin of 52-48 to leave the EU prompting the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who has indicated that he will step down in October.

Romeo said that over the past few days “there has been a wide range of views and much concern and uncertainty here in Montserrat and in the wider Caribbean.

“That is why we must continue to put our house in order so that we could be in the strongest position to cope with whatever unfolds,” he said, noting that his administration would continue with its stringent and open transparent policies regarding the funding of projects on the island.

“That will put us in a position to be properly funded and supported in key projects like the hospital, port, geothermal, fibre optic cable, housing etc,” said Romeo, who leads the only BOT that also belongs to the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.

Regional leaders are expected to discuss the Brexit during their summit in Guyana July 4-6.

Romeo said that it was important now for all Montserratians to unite in a bid to rebuild the volcano-ravaged island saying “we recognise and respect the historic democratic vote by the people of the United Kingdom.

British High Commissioner, Victoria Dean

British High Commissioner,
Victoria Dean

“We express appreciation for the way in which the British government and people have continued to support Montserrat through the period of crisis and even now in our post volcano redevelopment phase,” he said, adding “we affirm our commitment to working in partnership with Her Majesty’s government”.

He said that his administration also stands by the UK’ policy’s decision towards Montserrat as stated in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office White paper of 2012 that is based on international law.

“The reasonable assistance needs of the territories are the first call on the UK’s international development budget,” Romeo quoted the document as indicating, saying “such commitments simply do not depend on whether or not the UK is a member of the EU.

“Our policy going forward is therefore simple and clear. We stand with Britain as Britain stands with us in partnership,” Romeo told the nation.

Meanwhile, the Barbados-based British High Commissioner, Victoria Dean, has sought to re-assure the Caribbean that London’s aid package to the region would not be diminished.

“It should be clear that nothing will change overnight. British tourists will keep coming to the region, keep contributing to the local economy and keep enjoying these beautiful islands,” she said, adding that the “re-energised partnership between the UK and the Caribbean, launched by my Prime Minister on his visits to the region last autumn, will continue”.

She quoted him as saying that London wants to help the Caribbean on its path of development, adding “that has not changed.  The UK remains the largest bilateral donor to the region.

“Our cooperation with the Caribbean is an important part of who we are and what we do.  Our close co-operation and partnership is underscored by our deep links, bonded by our shared values and through our close linguistic, historical, cultural and political ties.  These are essential to our relationship and will not change.”

Grenada says Britain’s decision has lessons for CSME

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada Friday said it regretted the decision of Britain to pull out of the European Union but said “the world must accept and respect the democratic process and the will of the people”.

“The Caribbean region must use this decision to examine our own Single Market and Economy, and the implications of this for trade and other relations, and adjust accordingly,’ Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said in a brief statement.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) allows for the free movement of skills, goods, services and capital across the 15-member regional integration movement.

Britons voted to exit the European Union (EU) by a 52 to 48 per cent margin resulting in the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that he would be resigning and a new leader appointed in October.

Mitchell said that “it is with great regret that Grenada notes the decision of the British people to leave the European Union” and that ‘while many of us would have preferred a different result, the world must accept and respect the democratic process and the will of the people”.

He said that Grenada is forever grateful to Prime Minister David Cameron for his recent initiative to re-engage the Caribbean region and assist in the island’s infrastructural and other development.

“We also thank him for his historic and memorable visit to Grenada last September. It is our hope that Britain’s new leadership will continue Prime Minister Cameron’s agenda for the Caribbean,” he added.

PM shocked by “Brexit” vote

by STAFF WRITER

CASTRIES, St.Lucia , Jun. 26, CMC – The recent ‘Brexit’ vote in the UK has been described as shocking by St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet.

Speaking from Miami, Chastanet asserted that it was too early to make a real determination as to its total impact.

The St Lucia Prime Minister who returns here Sunday from his first overseas trip since his victory at the polls on June 6, noted that the initial shock from the development was a devaluation of the pound.

He said this was a major concern.

The former Tourism Minister observed that the UK is a huge tourism market for St Lucia and disclosed that this country is also an important destination for British nationals buying real estate.

He explained that with a devalued pound it would become more expensive for them to both vacation here and buy real estate.

“There are so many ways that you can spin this.”

Chastanet said he was hesitant to make a full comment until he knows what the final decision is going to be.

“Clearly David Cameron resigning and potentially a new Prime Minister coming in – whether that person continues down the path of the decision of the referendum, is to be seen,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader said.

He observed that there are already two million people who have signed a petition for there to be a new referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union.

“It is very early and it is shocking,” adding that the vote will have major ramifications.

Concerning St Lucia’s banana trade he said “The UK will be a separate entity and will not have to conform to European Union laws in terms of free trade.” Chastanet questioned whether that could lead to a resurgence of St Lucia’s banana market.

“There are just too many questions that remain unanswered at this point,” the Prime Minister declared.

Meanwhile Opposition leader, Philip J. Pierre, believes it is too early to determine what the impact of a vote by the UK to leave the European Union will have on the Caribbean.

A former Tourism Minister, Pierre observed that the immediate effect of the UK vote to leave the European Union was a decrease in the value of the pound.

He stated that if the pounds stays down, UK visitors will have less money to spend because their currency will be worth less.

The UK is St Lucia’s third largest tourism market.

Brexit has important lessons for Eastern Caribbean — ECCB Governor
By Kenton X. Chance

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Jun 28, CMC — The decision by voters in the United Kingdom (UK) last Thursday to leave the 28-member European Union (EU) has serious implication for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine has said.

Antoine has described the decision as “a really big move” and urged Caribbean nationals to appreciate the value of their own regional integration institutions.

ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine.

“A lot of this creates a sense of uncertainty,” he said, noting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions have projected that the British economy, the world’s fifth largest, could go back into recession as early as next year.

“Obviously, we are very concerned because the UK is an important source market for us in terms of tourism and that could affect us,” Antoine told reporters here.

He said that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU could, over time, affect aid to the Caribbean, even as he noted that the UK has about two years before leaving the 43-year-old grouping.

“But clearly, any downturn in the UK economy can have a potential adverse impact on the Caribbean economies, especially with regards to tourism and, to some extent, trade and remittances.”

Britons last week voted by a margin of 52-48 to leave the EU prompting the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who has indicated that he will step down in October.

Antoine said it is important to recognise that the single biggest concern that central bank governors and persons in the financial sector have is uncertainty.

“We know what could happen but we are not sure what would happen because it depends on how the negotiations take place, how fast they exit, how the global economy responds. But uncertainty is never a good thing. It affects confidence, so, obviously, we are very concerned about that.”

Uncertainty has seen the value of the pound sterling against the Eastern Caribbean Dollar falling by almost 50 cents since the results of the referendum.

Antoine said the ECCB is well organised in terms of its portfolio and, therefore, does not have any particular concerns in that regard.

“We are in high-quality assets, and, if anything, there will be a flight to quality, which means that we may see some capital appreciation over time.

“The downside is that we may see our investment income may not come as quickly because our interest rate may get cut. There may be delays in raising interest rates because, obviously, in the current environment, there may have to be further quantitative easing to support the UK economy and the global economy to ensure that it does not go back into recession or to minimise the risk of its going back into recession.”.

Antoine said a lot of what drove the UK to leave the EU is “this global discontent about globalisation — that the fruits of globalisation are not being equitably shared.

“The decision is premised on fear: fear of losing control; fear about immigration — people coming in your country; fear and lack of fair share, where some people feel that globalisation is not delivering enough benefits — some people get in but not enough people benefitting.

“That is what is driving a lot of this. So you’re seeing this rise in economic nationalism; you’re seeing the rise in right-wing movements; you are seeing what you see in the U.S.; you are seeing what you see in the UK and other parts of Europe.”

Antoine noted that people are questioning some of the international and regional institutions and whether or not they are getting value and the cost-benefit analysis.

“I want to say that in this region, we have to very mindful of the important contribution regional integration had made and is making to our economic development. I ask the simple question, ‘Where would we be without the ECCB?’ Can you imagine every country trying to run a central bank? It would be a disaster.

“So, the regional institutions have helped us. Now, of course, we must ensure that they continue to work for us and that’s why the responsibility of institutions such as ours — the Central Bank, is to make sure we’re engaging people — that people are a part of what is going on, they feel a part of it; that they are able to share their views and we are able to listen to them and make the right and appropriate policy adjustments and recommendations.”

He said that in the UK, there is a sense somewhat of a disconnect between what is going on in some of these bodies, like the European Commission and how people in rural and northern England feel about what’s going on.

Antoine noted that London voted to stay in the EU by about 70 per cent because, as the financial centre, Londoners are benefitting from the EU, but other people who are not benefitting as much opted out.

“So there are some important lessons for us to reflect on as a region with this Brexit decision,” Antoine said.

Guyana gets assurances from Britain despite EU vote

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 27, CMC – Britain has sought to give Guyana the assurance that it will be business as usual, at least for the next two years even though London has voted to get out of the European Union.

“In the short term as the Foreign Minister (Carl Greenidge) nothing will change as the Foreign Minister has also said there are legal obligations and legal agreements around EU development assistance,” said, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, in a video message posted on the British High Commission Facebook webpage on Monday.

Greg Quinn

Britons last week voted by a 52-48 margin to leave the 43 year-old European Union grouping that has also led to the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron who will demit office in October.

Caribbean countries ate still analysing the implication of the vote and there are concerns here that the UK decision could have on its development aid to countries like Guyana, which is set to receive £53.2 million (One British Pound =US$1.32 cents – June 27) in British aid.

Quinn said that the United Kingdom is expanding its commitment to the Caribbean and Guyana saying “that also will not change.

“As I sit here today I can tell you that the UK is committed to Guyana and will continue to be committed to Guyana whether we are a member of the EU or not, we are still and will remain a major player on the world stage,” the British diplomat said.

He said that it could take as long as two years or more before the UK completely exits the EU despite the vote last week.

“It will be a long process. It will be a complicated process and I suspect that it will be a difficult process. In the interim, the UK remains a member of the European Union with all the rights, responsibilities and obligations that membership brings”, he said.

Commentary – Winston Barnes: Brexit, Three

SOUTH FLORIDA – The crises which have been precipitated by, Brexit – Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union is not going to go away any time.

Further, Britain is going to survive if only because it has to. This however should not be reason for thoughtful people to deny certain realities.

Among those realities, membership in the union has brought a number of liabilities for Britain.

I am still convinced that the lowering of social standards of behavior by immigrants is something that is a cause for concern, but exiting from an organization which has brought some benefit to Britain was not the only solution.

But even more in need of examination is that politicians played a number on voters in Britain.

The rumblings in the Labour Party are an indication that even the members of parliament on that side of the house are not pleased.

There has to be a lesson in this for all voters in democratic societies.

Being a citizen in a democracy calls for serious work at the game of democracy, if you prefer, politics. It entails searching out the factual issues; looking for alternatives to what even those you support have suggested.

If nothing else, the Brexit vote last week demands that a voter must be informed and not merely follow the crowd or the politicians who make the most noise or raises your anger level the highest.

Voters need to think for themselves.