British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin yesterday assured Malawi that his country’s leaving the European Union will not affect the two country’s bilateral relations.
Said Nevin: “The UK has a strong bilateral relationship with Malawi over a long history. I have spoken to Foreign Minister Hon Francis Kasaila and reassured him that our strong bilateral relationship will continue and hopefully strengthen further. We will continue to work alongside our partners in support of Malawi’s prosperity and security, to the mutual benefit of all.”
Nevin said in holding a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, the UK has delivered perhaps the biggest democratic exercise in history. It underlines our credentials as a committed parliamentary democracy where we resolve major issues about our future through peaceful debate.
“As the Prime Minister David Cameron] has stated, the British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected. We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union will first need to be triggered by the UK to start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU, which then has up to two years to complete. There will be no initial change in the way people can travel, in the way goods can move or the way services can be sold.
“We are confident of finding the best way for the UK. We are a great trading nation, a multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, with our economy, our ideas and values, our science and arts, our engineering and our creativity respected the world over. The UK will remain a big player on the global stage. We are a permanent United Nations Security Council member, a leading member of NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organisation], the G7 and G20.
“We are the only country to meet commitments both to two percent of GDP on defence spending and 0.7 percent of GNI on development assistance, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world. We remain the 5th largest economy globally and Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong,” he said. n