The British envoy to Guyana on Monday sought to quell the uncertainties surrounding continued relations with the two countries following the recent UK referendum where a majority vote was cast in favor of leaving the European Union (EU): a decision which raised several questions locally and regionally.
Countries in the region are still analysing the implication of the vote and there are concerns about the implications of the UK decision on its development aid to countries like Guyana, which is set to receive £53.2 million (One British Pound =US$1.32 cents) in British aid.
“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,” British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn said in a video message posted on the British High Commission Facebook page on Monday.
The British diplomat said the UK is dedicated to expanding its commitment with Guyana and the Caribbean as was promised.
“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,” he said.
A referendum – a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part – was held on Thursday, June 23, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 52% to 48%. This led to the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who will demit office in October.
The process to exit the EU will take as much as two years, 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,” Quinn said