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How Britain EU's exit would affect Nigeria- Experts

MIXED reactions have continued to trail the decision of Britain to leave the European Union (EU) with experts from Nigeria weighing in with observations on the implications for the country and even Africa.
The British people voted for Britain’s exit from the EU, an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries, in a historic referendum, on Thursday, which outcome caused David Cameron to resign as Prime Minister.
The president of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Mr Dapo Adelegan, said the exit of Britain would not have short-term effects on Nigeria’s economy.
Adelegan, in an interview by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Lagos, stated that the existence of different trade agreements between Nigeria and European countries that trade directly with the country would prevent a short term impact of the Brexit on the economy.
“We sell directly to these countries and they also buy from us. I do not see a short-term impact of the exit on Nigeria’s economy,” he said.
Brexit is an abbreviation for “British exit,” which refers to the possibility of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Adelegan said the referendum, won by 52 percent to 48 percent, showed that it was a close decision and that Britain was equally divided between those that wanted to remain and those that wanted to go.
“So, it cannot be seen as a total victory for the Brexit. If half of the population wants to remain and half says go, it means that there will be internal political repercussions within Britain’s political environment.
“It may even lead to further referendum in years to come because the new government that will succeed David Cameron will have to win back majority of the people that wanted to remain to buy into the exit posture,” he said.
On the economic side, Adelegan said that the exit would diminish British role as the gateway to Europe in terms of business opportunities and global travel.
“Institutions that have invested in the UK as a channel to offer products and services to other parts of Europe, this exit will deny them that access. A market of about 500 million consumers reduced by about 65 million will require a rethink of strategy by global companies.
“We may begin to see the movement of global companies to Switzerland and Germany in the next few months,” Adelegan said.
He added that the exit would also affect the value of the British currency against the dollar and the euro.
Nigeria is Britain’s second largest trading partner in Africa with a trade volume which currently stands at six billion pounds (about N2.48 trillion).
However, in another vein, the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Bola Akinterinwa said the development would have negative consequences on Nigeria.
Akinterinwa, a professor of international affairs, told NAN on Friday that the negative impact of Britain’s exit from the union would be bilateral and multilateral.
According to him, it is at the level of multilateral configuration that Nigeria may be slightly affected.
“Britain is a member of the EU and Nigeria is a member of Commonwealth and in this case, Britain is both an active member of the EU and Commonwealth.
“Nigeria has been benefitting from the free trade tariff access of the British to the EU. Now with the Brexit, that one (free trade tariff access) may become a little bit difficult for Nigeria,” he said.
Akinterinwa said that Nigeria’s economic relationship with the EU might also be affected with the development, explaining that it would jeopardise Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.
“With the withdrawal of the British from the EU, now the EPA will no longer apply to Nigeria within the framework of Nigeria’s bilateral relationship with the British,” he said.
Politically, he stated that a weakened Europe would also affect Nigeria in terms of aid donation to the country.
“Politically, Brexit can bring about a weakened economy of Europe. It will be weakened in various respects because Britain accounts for about 15 per cent of EU’s operational budget.
“This will create more burdens for countries like France and Germany, the two main countries carrying the financial burden of other member-states.
“With that relationship with the European Union, the other members will also be weakened.
“When it comes to insolvency, the amount of money given to Nigeria as development grant or whatsoever cannot but be reduced. So, these are some of the implications,” he said.
Akinterinwa added that Brexit could also affect Nigeria’s and ECOWAS’ relationship with the EU.
According to him, since Britain is not part of the Schengen Visa Regime, anyone going to Britain must apply for visa directly fAkinterinwa, however, said that with the Brexit already hurting the Pound Sterling and the Euro, it was positive for Nigeria.
“So, the parity of the Naira to the Pound Sterling, if the Pound Sterling is falling, is good for Nigeria; it is a welcome development at that level,” he said.
Text of David Cameron’s speech after ‘Brexit’ vote
The country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise — perhaps the biggest in our history. Over 33 million people — from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar — have all had their say.
We should be proud of the fact that in these islands we trust the people with these big decisions.
We not only have a parliamentary democracy, but on questions about the arrangements for how we are governed, there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves, and that is what we have done.
The British people have voted to leave the European Union, and their will must be respected.
I want to thank everyone who took part in the campaign on my side of the argument, including all those who put aside party differences to speak in what they believed was the national interest.
And let me congratulate all those who took part in the “Leave” campaign — for the spirited and passionate case that they made.
The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered. It was not a decision that was taken lightly, not least because so many things were said by so many different organizations about the significance of this decision.
So there can be no doubt about the result.
Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made. I would reassure those markets and investors that Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong.
And I would also reassure Brits living in European countries, and European citizens living here, that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances. There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.
We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union. This will need to involve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced.
But above all this will require strong, determined and committed leadership.
I am very proud and very honoured to have been prime minister of this country for six years.
I believe we have made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world, and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality.
But above all restoring Britain’s economic strength, and I am grateful to everyone who has helped to make that happen.
I have also always believed that we have to confront big decisions — not duck them.
That’s why we delivered the first coalition government in 70 years to bring our economy back from the brink. It’s why we delivered a fair, legal and decisive referendum in Scotland. And why I made the pledge to renegotiate Britain’s position in the European Union and hold a referendum on our membership, and have carried those things out.
I fought this campaign in the only way I know how — which is to say directly and passionately what I think and feel — head, heart and soul.
I held nothing back.
I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union, and I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone — not the future of any single politician, including myself.
But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path, and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.
I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but I do believe it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.
There is no need for a precise timetable today, but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.
Delivering stability will be important, and I will continue in post as prime minister with my cabinet for the next three months. The cabinet will meet on Monday.
The governor of the Bank of England is making a statement about the steps that the bank and the Treasury are taking to reassure financial markets. We will also continue taking forward the important legislation that we set before Parliament in the Queen’s Speech. And I have spoken to Her Majesty, the Queen, this morning to advise her of the steps that I am taking.
A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister, and I think it is right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the E.U.
I will attend the European Council next week to explain the decision the British people have taken and my own decision.
The British people have made a choice. That not only needs to be respected — but those on the losing side of the argument, myself included, should help to make it work.
Britain is a special country.
We have so many great advantages.
A parliamentary democracy where we resolve great issues about our future through peaceful debate.
A great trading nation, with our science and arts, our engineering and our creativity respected the world over.
And while we are not perfect, I do believe we can be a model of a multiracial, multifaith democracy, where people can come and make a contribution and rise to the very highest that their talent allows.
Although leaving Europe was not the path I recommended, I am the first to praise our incredible strengths.
I have said before that Britain can survive outside the European Union, and indeed that we could find a way.
Now the decision has been made to leave, we need to find the best way.
And I will do everything I can to help.
I love this country — and I feel honoured to have served it.
And I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.
Boris Johnson’s reaction
Boris Johnson, one of the most prominent voices in the Leave campaign, has spoken out following the public’s vote to leave the European Union and the Prime Minister’s consequent resignation.
Now touted as Mr Cameron’s most likely successor, Mr Johnson called his party leader a “principled man” who was “one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age”.
He also praised his senior’s “superb leadership” of the Conservative Party, and his “bravery” for supporting the referendum vote.
“Some people are now saying that was wrong and that the people should never have been asked in this way. I disagree,” he said at Vote Leave’s headquarters in London, flanked by Labour MP and Brexit campaigner Gisela Stuart, and fellow Conservative Michael Gove.
“I believe it was entirely right and inevitable and indeed that there is no way with dealing with a decision on this scale except by putting it to the people.
“In the end, this question is about the people, it’s about the right of the people of this country to settle their own destiny, it’s about the very principles of our democracy.
“The rights of all of us to elect and remove the people who make the key decisions in their lives. And I think that the electorate have searched in their hearts and answered as honestly as they can.”
The Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP said the Brexit vote “does not mean that the United Kingdom will be in any way less united” or “less European”.
“I believe the British people have spoken up for democracy in Britain and across Europe and I think we can be very proud of the result,” he said.
Mr Johnson said the Brexit vote gave the UK a “glorious opportunity” for a brighter future, and insisted that Britain would remain “a greater European power” outside the future Union.
“We cannot turn our backs on Europe, we are part of Europe,” he said.
“Our children and our grandchildren will continue to have a wonderful future as Europeans, travelling to the continent, understanding the languages and cultures that make up our common European civilisation.”
The former Mayor of London also said change would not be immediate.
“There is no need for haste,” said Mr Johnson.
“As the Prime Minister has just said, nothing will change over the short term except that work will have to begin on how to give effect to the will of the people and to extricate this country from the supranational system.
“To those who may be anxious, whether at home or abroad, this does not mean that the United Kingdom will be in any way less united, nor indeed does it mean that it will be any less European.
“I believe we now have a glorious opportunity. We can pass our laws and set our taxes entirely according to the needs of the UK economy.
“We can control our own borders in a way that is not discriminatory but fair and balanced and take the wind out of the sails of the extremists and those who would play politics with immigration.
“I want to reassure everybody that, in my view, as a result of this Britain will continue to be a great European power, leading discussions on defence and intelligence sharing and all the work that currently goes on to make our world safer.
“But there is simply no need in the 21st century to be part of a federal system of government, based in Brussels that is imitated nowhere else on Earth. It was a noble idea for its time, it is no longer right for this country.”
He also appealed directly to “young people” not to feel dismayed by the vote, but to know that great opportunities lay ahead for them.
And he said the debate must move on from those who “would play politics with immigration”.
Mr Johnson spoke shortly after Mr Cameron formally told the Queen of his decision to hand over the premiership to a new Conservative leader by October.

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