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La Caraïbe et ses relations avec l’Amérique latine et l’Union européenne

Relations with the European Union and the United Kingdom Post-BREXIT: Perspectives from the Caribbean

Les relations entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni après le BREXIT : perspectives depuis les Caraïbes
Relaciones entre la Unión Europea,y el Reino Unido Post-BREXIT: Perspectivas desde el Caribe
Jessica Byron


Cet article explore les implications du BREXIT pour les États du CARIFORUM et les territoires des Caraïbes britanniques. Il souligne que toutes les conclusions sont susceptibles de changer étant donné que les discussions sur le BREXIT se poursuivent et que la situation est fluide. Il montre les divers niveaux de vulnérabilité politique ou économique du BREXIT rencontrés par différents territoires et examine les options pour les futures relations politiques et économiques du Royaume-Uni avec l'Union européenne.

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1This article discusses the outlook for Caribbean states and territories for their future relations with both the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) following the British vote to leave the EU in June 2016 and the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) in April 2017. The consternation generated in the region by BREXIT confirms the continued importance of the EU partnership for the Caribbean and of the EPA market access regime for certain sectors and economies in the region. It also highlights the significant role Britain continues to play as the major market for many Caribbean countries’ EU exports, even though CARICOM countries have had over forty years of preferential market access to the EU market in general. This has now become an additional source of vulnerability to changes that are not under the control of Caribbean actors. They are third parties and quite peripheral in the BREXIT and post-BREXIT negotiations to take place between the EU and the UK.

2BREXIT illustrates the Caribbean region’s heterogeneity and the varying levels of sensitivity of Caribbean actors to the new situation. The non-sovereign UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) may face the loss of preferential access to the EU market, development cooperation and mobility within the EU as they will no longer be part of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories grouping. But their location within the UK remains largely unchanged. For the independent Caribbean states, EU trade and development cooperation arrangements through the EPA and Cotonou are unchanged. However, they face serious questions regarding the shape of future market access to the UK once it has completely left the EU, and for many of them, the UK represents their largest share of the EU market. Finally, there is the Dominican Republic (DR), a CARIFORUM (CF) country without historical ties to the UK but which supplies a large proportion of its organic banana production to the UK, and Cuba, which trades with all the countries of the EU including the UK, on a Most Favoured Nation (MFN) basis (Razzaque & Vickers, 2016; Tvevad, 2017). This paper focuses on the CARIFORUM group and the UKOTs.

3We discuss the main economic, trade policy, development cooperation and other political issues for the two groups of countries and territories. All assessments are tentative as the BREXIT negotiations are ongoing. The EU Council of Ministers published its Guidelines for the BREXIT negotiations in April 2017. Following the British general elections in June 2017, the first phase of BREXIT negotiations, August – December 2017, concluded with a provisional agreement on the financial aspects of Britain’s separation from the EU, reciprocal protection of the rights of British and EU citizens resident in each other’s domains, and respect for the arrangements governing the Irish/Northern Ireland border. Both sides expressed support for a transition period after BREXIT in March 2019 (EU Commission, 2017). The EU has proposed a period of 21 months during which the UK will continue to observe all the obligations of an EU member state but will not participate in EU decision-making. The UK will be able to negotiate new trade deals with other parties during this period which will only come into effect at the end of the transition (Wesel, 2018).

4The second phase of talks got underway in January 2018. They were intended to focus on the details of the transition period but have also been taken up with clarifying details of the provisional agreement of December 2017. These include the status of EU citizens who might arrive in Britain during the transition period and the complexities of maintaining a flexible Ireland-Northern Ireland border and respecting the terms and conditions of the 1998 Belfast Agreement. Transition arrangements were endorsed by the EU Summit of March 22–23 2018. In the negotiating timeline proposed by the EU, talks on the future relationship between the two parties should run from April to October 2018, and should culminate in a draft withdrawal treaty and a political framework agreement for the future relationship. The final months leading up to March 2019 should focus on the future trade relationship (Wesel, 2018).

  • 1 The so-call “backstop protocol” would keep Northern Ireland within the EU Single Market arrangement (...)
  • 2 See discussion in Lewis et al., 2018: 224–229.

5The transition arrangements did not bring clarity on Northern Ireland issues apart from the acceptance of a last resort provision of a “backstop protocol” if a free trade agreement is not ultimately arrived at.1 There are marked divisions within the UK government and within the Conservative Party on BREXIT which mean that the UK political leadership has a fragile basis on which to negotiate difficult concessions and far-reaching changes for the country’s economic and social fabric (Allegretti, 2018). Many observers fear that protracted negotiations will compound political and economic uncertainty for third parties and for UK and EU stakeholders. The most pessimistic raise the worst-case spectre of failed negotiations and a disorganized exit from the EU for the UK. Most agree that small developing countries and territories like those in the Caribbean would be far down the list of priorities for a UK obliged to formulate a sweeping range of new trade and development policies and contractual arrangements to replace some 750 EU international agreements with third parties.2

6The following section does a literature review of the likely implications of BREXIT on the CARIFORUM countries and the possible options for addressing them. The second section outlines the challenges for the UKOTs and the possible options that may be explored in the negotiations. The concluding section examines the implications for the Caribbean’s relations with the EU and the UK and the recommended directions for regional organizations as well as Caribbean states and territories to pursue for more effective coordination of their external relations.


1.1. Projections of likely impact

7There are wide-ranging assessments of the fallout from BREXIT for the Caribbean and other developing countries. Initial studies in 2016 and 2017 undertaken by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the Shridath Ramphal Centre in London and individual scholars highlighted the significant implications for selected economies and sectors whereas an Inter-American Development Bank discussion paper, on the other hand, acknowledged a short and medium-term impact for the Caribbean but argued that the overall implications for economic growth in the region would be relatively minor. Page (2016) argued that given the uncertainty surrounding EU-UK relations, developing countries likely to be affected by BREXIT should concentrate their efforts on consulting and strengthening their relations with the EU and engaging on the broader aspects of the issue within the WTO, leaving negotiations with Britain for a much later date when there would be greater clarity. This perspective differed from Sanders (2016), Jessop (2016), Humphreys (2016) who all advocated launching major preparations and lobbying in London and Brussels long in advance of any direct trade talks between the UK and Caribbean actors.

8Many Commonwealth and ODI studies focus on the UK’s substantial contribution to the EU’s trade and development cooperation policies and the fact that it is among the few countries that actually comply with the goal of providing 0.7% of GDP in development assistance. They explore how the UK can maintain a development-oriented trade policy in future and the possible interim, short-term arrangements it could undertake to avoid the widespread disruption of preferential access to its market for developing economies. They investigate the implications of the WTO regime for these measures and ways to address such issues (Razzaque & Vickers, 2016; Stevens & Kennan, 2016a, b; Mendez-Parra et al., 2016).

9Razzaque and Vickers (2016), likewise Gonzales (2017) point out that despite some optimistic predictions made at the time of the adoption of the CARIFORUM/EU EPA, CF merchandise exports have actually fallen by almost 50% since 2008 from USD 6.2 bn to USD 3.1 bn in 2015. Britain imported approximately 23% of this amount in 2015. Laurent (2016) takes a more detailed look at the CARICOM economies, noting that in 2015 their merchandise exports to the UK made up 13.65% of the overall value of their goods exported to the EU. Stevens and Kennan (2016a, b) emphasize the high levels of exposure of certain Caribbean commodity-dependent economies to the UK market compared to ACP countries in other EPAs with the EU and they question if this fact might have longer-term significance for the EU-CARIFORUM EPA post-BREXIT.

10Razzaque and Vickers (2016) identify Guyana, Belize, Barbados, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia as the CF economies likely to be most affected if the UK reverts to the application of MFN tariff rates on its imports once it leaves the EU. Agricultural and agro-processed products, both of which account for a significant percentage of CF exports to the UK, would face higher MFN tariff rates. It is estimated that Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries that are not Least Developed Countries (LDCs) may face an overall MFN tariff increase equal to over 1% of their total export value to the UK (Kennan & Stevens, 2016). The UK imports 25% of all CF bananas exported to the EU. The DR and Belize would be especially affected since organic bananas make up 75% of the former’s exports to the UK, while bananas account for 54% of Belizean exports to the UK. Likewise, the UK imports 95% of all CARICOM’s raw sugar and processed sugar products to the EU (Razzaque & Vickers, 2016). Guyana is singled out as the CARICOM goods exporter to the UK likely to experience the largest decline in exports as a percentage of GDP (Khadan & Ruprah, 2016).

11The picture is more obscure concerning service exports, mainly because of the data constraints to measuring trade in services despite the huge weight of services in the GDP and GNI of Caribbean economies. CF economies have not yet succeeded in fully capitalizing on EPA provisions for market access for service providers into the EU (Gonzales, 2017 ; Greene, 2015). CF countries export to the UK financial services, tourism and travel services and communication services (Razzaque & Vickers, 2016). Barbados and Jamaica were identified by Khadan and Ruprah (2016) as the Caribbean tourist destinations potentially most sensitive to changes in the UK market in the short term, mainly due to BREXIT’s shock to the British economy and the declining value of sterling which might make Caribbean vacations more expensive for British consumers. Keane (2016) recommends early in-depth study of the effects of EPA implementation on trade in services and a determined approach to tackling the challenges of data collection on services in the CF countries. She also suggests that the UK might consider including services in its post-BREXIT GSP regime, and consider Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) for Small Island Developing States/Small and Vulnerable Economies in this context.

1.2. Development Cooperation

12In the context of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, Britain is slated to contribute 4.48 billion euros, approximately 15% of the 11th European Development Fund between 2014 and 2020. A portion of this amount is allocated to the CARIFORUM states and to the EU OCTs. This financing has been valuable for strengthening national and regional economic competitiveness, for strengthening the Caribbean’s capacity to successfully implement the EPA, for achieving climate change adaptation/mitigation and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030.

13It has been agreed thus far in the BREXIT negotiations that the UK will honour its Cotonou commitments (including the fact that such disbursements would normally extend beyond 2020). The question remains, however, what would be the political and economic impact of the absence of Britain in any possible post-Cotonou relationship with the EU? The UK is noted for its contributions to global and EU development policy debates and praxis. Will its voice be diminished once it no longer forms a part of the EU? Likewise, the UK is regarded by both the CF states and the UKOTs as a constructive ally when their issues are discussed in EU forums.

14In terms of the UK-Caribbean bilateral development cooperation relationship, it should be noted that British grant funding to the Caribbean increased in 2015 when the UK-Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund was set up in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank. The Fund is intended to provide between 2016 and 2020 over 300 million pounds sterling for physical infrastructural improvements. UK funding also prioritizes health and criminal justice reforms (DFID, 2015).

1.3. Outlook for CARICOM/CARIFORUM economic and political relations with the UK

15The UK and the EU have agreed to implement transitional arrangements to avoid the disruption of their own trading arrangements immediately after BREXIT as well as trade between the UK and developing countries (those with which the UK has regional/EPA arrangements through the EU). Talks on “rollover” arrangements between the CARIFORUM and Britain were launched in November 2017 and have continued in the first quarter of 2018 (Jamaica Gleaner 2017; St Kitts-Nevis Information Services 2018a, b). The 21-month transitional period would provide a space in which CARIFORUM hopes to negotiate a new trading relationship with the UK.

16Notwithstanding the welcome breathing space that will be provided by the transitional arrangements, the real challenges will emerge when the UK starts constructing its longer-term trade policies towards developing countries, including the CARIFORUM countries. WTO rules and the possibility for negotiating waivers will be a major factor. The differences among developing countries’ situations and interests will be thrust into the spotlight, and as observed by Te Velde (2016) small, non-LDC economies (like those in the CF) may be vulnerable to the loss of preferences previously enjoyed in the UK market via the EU EPA. Proposals advanced in academic studies thus far have included the eventual development of a UK GSP to safeguard preferential access for developing country economies or the lengthier process of the UK negotiating its own Economic Partnership Agreements (Jones, 2016; Kennan, 2016; Razzaque & Vickers, 2016). It has also been suggested that in a new long-term trade agreement, CF could push for lowering some EU-type sanitary and phytosanitary regulations (SPS) that do not affect UK agriculture but would benefit tropical producers (Jones, 2016). As mentioned earlier, CF might also consider pushing for SDT applications in a GSP that includes trade in services. Finally, Bandele and Banga (2017) propose the negotiation of a CF-UK EPA as a longer-term option with the potential to increase two-way trade for both sets of partners although initial export increases would probably redound to the UK.

17In terms of changes to political relations, the UK will no longer be an integral member of the EU Council able to intervene at that level on development matters central to the Caribbean. However, it is likely that Britain and the EU will remain in cooperation and mutually engaged with various crimes and security themes in the Caribbean because of the existing coordination among the UK, France and The Netherlands on such matters as the interdiction of financial crime, illicit narcotics flows and other forms of transnational criminal activity which threaten their Caribbean territories and the independent states. Such issues and the protection of human rights have increasingly influenced the form and content of the UK’s development cooperation with CARICOM/CF countries.

18The UK is the former colonial power for most CARICOM countries with all the historical, institutional and cultural ties that this implies. There is a significant Caribbean diaspora in the UK which may be an increasing actor in future trade, investment and other exchanges between Britain and the Caribbean. That depends very much on Caribbean efforts both nationally and regionally to deepen engagement with their diasporas.

19The main institutional channel for reviews of UK-Caribbean relations, for voicing concerns and introducing new initiatives is the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum which has met every two years since 1998, alternating the venues between the UK and CARICOM territories. The 2014 Forum agreed to focus the cooperation on strengthening economic competitiveness and growth by increasing energy security, development of new skills in education, and addressing crime and security issues. The 2016 Forum in the Bahamas continued this focus but added the theme of Sustainable Development in the context of the global challenges.

20Other important institutional channels are the EU-Caribbean Council with its strong focus on UK-Caribbean trade issues, the Commonwealth Secretariat and related entities which perform the functions of research and policy analysis, lobbying and policy formulation with UK actors and elsewhere. Their strategic value will augment considerably between now and the end of BREXIT negotiations.

2. BREXIT Repercussions for Caribbean UKOTs

2.1. The UKOTS relationship with the EU

21BREXIT poses a major challenge for the UKOTs for whom the European Union is a very important trade and development cooperation partner. BREXIT is a graphic example of the disadvantage in international affairs faced by the OTs whose governance link with the UK is through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). They have no parliamentary representation in the UK and are indirectly linked to the EU through Britain. Their populations, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not members of the British electorate and could not vote in the 2016 BREXIT referendum. Nonetheless, they are severely affected by the consequences of such developments on which they were minimally consulted and over which they have no control (Hare, 2017).

  • 3 Gibraltar is a member of the EU under Art. 355 (3) of the same Treaty.

22The OTs, with the exception of Gibraltar3, are associated with the EU under Part IV of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Articles 198–203 (Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, 2012; Clegg, 2016). The European Council Overseas Association Decision 2013/755/EU institutionalized the relationship further and increased the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) access to EU economic and development cooperation. OCT affairs are handled by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development. There is an annual OCT-EU Forum as well as other meetings and working groups on matters of joint concern involving the OCTs and the EU. The OCTs have their own organization (OCTA) aimed at cooperating more closely and coordinating positions vis-à-vis the EU. These links are important for the international visibility of the UKOTs (Clegg, 2016). Apart from their status within the EU, links with the Commonwealth and the UN, inclusion in the SIDs and regional groupings, British Caribbean OTs have little access to international forums.

  • 4 Bermuda services over 40% of the EU property catastrophe reinsurance market and its insurance asset (...)
  • 5 The 11th EDF 2014–2020 has 76.8 million euros for bilateral funding for eligible OTs, and 40 millio (...)

23The other principal UKOT interests in the EU are market access, freedom of movement and development cooperation. Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are major exporters of financial services to the EU4. Mobility within the EU market is an important facility for OT service operators as well as the general population seeking access to wider socio-cultural and educational opportunities. Montserrat, Anguilla and TCI have benefited considerably from European Development Funding and have indicative allocations under the 11th EDF of euros 18.4 min, 14 min and 14.6 min respectively (Clegg 2016a:8). They have no other sources of development assistance except for the UK. The other Caribbean UKOTs, although ineligible for bilateral development cooperation allocations by virtue of their GDP, participate through the EU regional funds in development cooperation programmes for environmental protection and climate change mitigation5. An illustration of the limited options for all these territories where disaster assistance is concerned occurred when Anguilla, the BVI and parts of TCI were devastated by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Their ineligibility for aid under OECD-DAC rules eventually led to an OECD decision to modify regulations to allow for temporary emergency access to ODA for middle and high income developing territories as long as existing aid recipients were not disadvantaged in the process (KFF, 2017).

  • 6 Anguilla depends on French and Dutch St. Martin for access to medical and dental services, major ai (...)

24Anguilla faces a unique situation of vulnerability to BREXIT because of its geographical proximity to the European territories of St. Martin and St Eustatius and its economic dependence on the free circulation of goods, services and people among the three territories6. Such transit will become costlier and more complicated once Britain leaves the EU.

2.2. BREXIT Challenges, UKOT Responses

25The OTs were proactive in commissioning a study, even before the BREXIT referendum, on the potential implications of a “Leave” vote, and the possible alternatives for association with the EU (Jessop, 2016; Clegg, 2016a). BREXIT featured prominently in the preparatory meetings and proceedings of the UK/OTA Joint Ministerial Council Meeting in November 2016 where the UK authorities gave assurances on future consultations and on EU funding in the short term (UK-OT Joint Ministerial Council, 2016). Despite their capacity limitations where public administration and international engagement are concerned, the OTs have lobbied sectors of the UK government, engaged in informal talks with relevant parties and leveraged their public, private sector and academic networks quite effectively. However, their governments and economic actors continue to struggle with the uncertainty surrounding the process, duration and ultimate outcomes of the BREXIT process, and major issues remain unresolved.

  • 7 Montserrat’s 2017/2018 budget estimates state that 37% of capital expenditure would be derived from (...)

26One such issue is development financing, particularly for UKOTs with lower GDP per capita incomes. Montserrat, the main candidate, lacks economic autonomy and is heavily dependent on budgetary support from Britain and the EU7. All territories wish to safeguard access to funding for climate change mitigation and for support in the attainment of the 2030 SDG Agenda.

  • 8 AIFM refers to hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds and the EU introduced its own regu (...)

27The indications are that EU market access for financial services will become more uncertain as BREXIT advances. Ernst and Young (2017) identified Bermuda as being in the most favourable position, since it has third country equivalency via Solvency II and has made major efforts to align its regulatory framework with EU legislation over the past six years. It already has a bilateral relationship with the Commission and representation in Brussels. The Cayman Islands and the BVI do not have representation in Brussels and would no longer form part of the EU OCT institutions. There is the distinct possibility that despite the OTs favourable performance on most EU criteria save for the absence of corporate taxes, they may be disadvantaged by Britain’s absence from future decision-making processes in Brussels and the EU’s toughening stance against low tax offshore financial jurisdictions. Indeed, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, and BVI are all now on the EU grey list of territories that have one year in which to bring their tax legislation in line with EU compliance demands (Boffey, 2017; Guarascio, 2018). Likewise, although Bermuda, the BVI and the Cayman Islands are currently updating their regulatory regimes to conform to the EU 2011 Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD), the alignment process is slow and they cannot access the EU AIFM market8 until the EU deems that they have met the requirements.


28The focus of most analyses of the implications of BREXIT for independent developing countries including those in the CARIFORUM has been on their future relationship with Britain, since in principle their relationship with the EU remains unchanged. It is the inverse of the UKOT predicament and less attention has been given to possible solutions for the latters’ dilemma (Hare, 2017). While BREXIT affects most economies in the Caribbean, the economic and political stakes are huge for UK Overseas Territories and they are severely challenged by their minimal visibility and third-party status in the negotiations. The ideal outcome for them would be to maintain as many of their current benefits as possible: favourable access to the EU market, time-limited free movement, the possibility of development cooperation and investment capital from the EU, and the opportunity to maintain and strengthen their links not only with EU institutions but also with the OCTA members with whom they have enjoyed fruitful collaboration since 2002 (Clegg, 2016). These opportunities should be negotiated as part of the structure of the future Britain-EU relationship. The chances of success will depend largely on the outcome of the overall BREXIT negotiations.

29Multilateral organizations, including ECLAC and the UNDP, the Commonwealth and regional groupings can play useful roles in supporting the UK OTs during this transition in their relationship with the EU. Such activities could include expanding the remit of any BREXIT monitoring groups to providing information to the OT administrations and also for BREXIT-related studies to include analyses of the future options available to the OTs for beneficial relations with the EU. The UKOTs should also continue to receive needed multilateral support for accessing climate change mitigation financing and technical assistance.

30In this context, BREXIT could be the catalyst for a more dynamic role for regional organizations since they would be the focal points for the maintenance and strengthening of the UKOT networks with other Caribbean OCTs, if they lose their association with OCTA. The UKOTs might opt for associate membership of the ACS, an important forum for the participation of the Dutch and French territories in the region. Likewise, BREXIT developments might result in more focused attention within CARICOM to considering the applications of various French and Dutch territories for associate membership. There are strategic advantages of such membership for the regional grouping and there is the need to expand and deepen its agenda for engagement with its associate members.

31BREXIT has stimulated a renewed focus on trade diplomacy in the Caribbean. Trade relationships, development cooperation and the challenges of foreign policy coordination are once again high on the agenda of regional organizations like CARICOM/CARIFORUM and the OECS. BREXIT has highlighted the fact that few CARIFORUM countries have fully exploited their market access to the EU. It presents both the opportunity and the imperative to strengthen relations with a wider range of EU member countries and to work on market penetration and gaining competitiveness in these economies. As far as maintaining market access to the UK is concerned, the short-term outlook may be a rollover of EPA terms and conditions during a transition period up to the end of 2020. However, there is the urgent need for CARIFORUM to negotiate with the UK longer term trade arrangements that are, if possible, no less beneficial than those contained in the EPA, and to seek the support of the WTO in facilitating such an agreement. Despite the flurry of new activity, it is likely that future trade arrangements with Britain will continue to be strongly influenced by the norms and procedures constructed during the forty-two years of EU-CARIFORUM relations.

  • 9 The main example is the CARICOM Commission, set up in 2016 by the Jamaican government and chaired b (...)
  • 10 Ramphal (2004) argued that interest in self-government had been diluted because of the reduced mean (...)

32Finally, BREXIT may ultimately prove to have had a catalytic effect in renewing or eroding Caribbean norms and institutions. It has already provoked critical reviews of Caribbean integration processes, many of which had the EU as a reference point in one way or another9. Lewis (2016:532) observes that “the most striking realisation from BREXIT is that integration processes do not necessarily follow an inevitable trajectory of ever-closer union but can unravel”. Likewise, could BREXIT open the possibility of further decolonization developments in the Caribbean, notwithstanding earlier conclusions to the contrary?10 This cannot be ruled out. One experienced analyst argues that BREXIT is an opportunity to reignite the debate on the status of UKOTs and it underscores the critical need to keep increasing their autonomy (Jessop, 2016). One may conclude that BREXIT will strengthen their capacity and experience in engaging with the external environment and may well reconfigure in significant ways their internal administrations, their relationship with Britain and with the EU, as well as with their regional environment.


33This article was completed during the first half of 2018 and reflects the state of play in BREXIT up to that time. By way of update, it is necessary to highlight three key developments since then.

  • The BREXIT process has not followed the timetable outlined in the original mandates and negotiating documents, largely because of intractable divisions within and between political parties and the general public in the United Kingdom, and the British Parliament’s rejection on three occasions of the BREXIT deal negotiated by the European Union and the British Government. Among other issues, it has been impossible to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution concerning the treatment of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Currently the British Government has obtained a delay to its withdrawal from the European Union until October 31 2019. Prospects for a negotiated exit remain uncertain and there is the possibility of an eventual “No Deal” outcome with negative implications for all parties.

  • CARIFORUM and the British Government successfully negotiated a trade continuity agreement, the UK-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement, on March 22 2019, which will maintain the existing trade arrangements between the two parties after the United Kingdom leaves the EU URL: <​uk-signs-trade-continuity-agreement-with-caribbean-countries/​>

  • For certain Caribbean third party jurisdictions as well as some European territories in the region, currently the most contentious aspect of their economic relations with the EU concerns the EU Commission’s expanded Black List of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions, published in March 2019, which included the UKOT Bermuda, as well as three CARICOM countries URL: < WFW-Briefing-Bermuda-added-to-EUs-list-of-non-cooperative-jurisdictions-1.pdf> This and the entire BREXIT process are quite detrimental for the UKOTs.

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1 The so-call “backstop protocol” would keep Northern Ireland within the EU Single Market arrangements and would impose a border across the Irish Sea between Britain and Europe (Smyth, 2018).

2 See discussion in Lewis et al., 2018: 224–229.

3 Gibraltar is a member of the EU under Art. 355 (3) of the same Treaty.

4 Bermuda services over 40% of the EU property catastrophe reinsurance market and its insurance assets account for 98% of its GDP (Clegg, 2016b:546; Ernst & Young, 2017). Financial services make up 41% of the Cayman Islands’ GDP and 13% for the TCI (Ernst & Young, 2017).

5 The 11th EDF 2014–2020 has 76.8 million euros for bilateral funding for eligible OTs, and 40 million euros for Caribbean OTs for environmental conservation programmes (Clegg, 2016a:8; Jessop, 2016).

6 Anguilla depends on French and Dutch St. Martin for access to medical and dental services, major air links, postal services and trans-shipment of a range of consumer goods. An estimated 95% of visitors to Anguilla transit through St. Martin’s international airport and 90% of the fuel that is used for electricity generation and water desalination in Anguilla is trans-shipped from the nearby Dutch territory of Sint Eustatius (Government of Anguilla 2017).

7 Montserrat’s 2017/2018 budget estimates state that 37% of capital expenditure would be derived from EU funding (Discover Montserrat 2017).

8 AIFM refers to hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds and the EU introduced its own regulation of such entities after the global financial crisis.

9 The main example is the CARICOM Commission, set up in 2016 by the Jamaican government and chaired by former Prime Minister Golding, to review the workings of the CSME, Jamaica’s role in CARICOM and its impact on Jamaica’s economic development. The Joint Select Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago also began discussions on CARICOM in 2017. On the Jamaican report, see “Holness to CARICOM: 5 years to implement CSME provisions or else…”, URL: < 7/02/2018> accessed 2/04/2018.

10 Ramphal (2004) argued that interest in self-government had been diluted because of the reduced meaning of sovereignty, while Sutton (foreword Clegg & Pantojas Garcia, 2009: xiii-xviii) remarked that limited autonomy within a relationship with a metropolitan power seemed to be the preferred option.

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Jessica Byron, « Relations with the European Union and the United Kingdom Post-BREXIT: Perspectives from the Caribbean », Études caribéennes [En ligne], 42 | Avril 2019, mis en ligne le 15 avril 2019, consulté le 24 juin 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/etudescaribeennes.14705

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Jessica Byron

Director Institute of International Relations, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Trinidad,

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