February 25th 2018

Opinion / Commentaries

Africans should root for Britain’s stay in the European Union

Britain is set to go on a referendum on the 23rd of this month over its membership in the European Union

By Thomas Matalangatmatalanga@kenyafreepress.comSaturday, 18 Jun 2016 15:25 EAT

Britain is set to go on a referendum on the 23rd of this month over its membership in the European Union. Over the last few months various political parties as well as people have been campaigning for or against the move.

In recent months Britons have been highly critical of both the benefits and demerits of being a member of the E.U, with each side arguing out their reasons vehemently. Recent polls indicate that Britons are evenly split over whether to stay or go.  Britain has been a member of the E.U and it is purported that its exit would lead to the breakdown of the 28-country bloc.

Its exit should the Brexit referendum go through are expected to have a major impact on the rest of Europe. The repercussions are said to be social, economic and political. The Conservative Party being a frontrunner in the campaign for Britain’s exit from the EU have argued for a while that the Constitutional monarchy would only progress if Britain freed itself from the bondage of the E.U.

This comes as Labour MP Jo Cox was attacked and killed in West Yorkshire yesterday afternoon while meeting with her constituents at a local library. Mrs Cox, a mother of two, was shot thrice and stabbed at one o’clock yesterday. With only a week to the referendum, this came as a huge blow to the Labour Party who were in support of Britain’s stay at the E.U. Mrs. Jo Cox was a key agitant of the Party and her death came just a few days after she and her husband had been campaigning at London’s Thames river for Britain’s stay.

Brexit spells a looming danger for Africa. This is because a majority of African countries are involved directly with Britain. The bulk of their trade with Europe is via Britain, although other nations such as Germany have also made their mark in international trade. Kenya stands to lose a lot if Britain exits the European Union. A majority of the projects in the government and country are being sourced from funds by the British government.

The free primary education scheme, the military exchange between Kenya and Britain are just but some of the benefits Kenya reaps from Britain. This may be hampered by the fact that should it exit the E.U then a majority of the benefits it reaps from the European trading bloc will go down the drain thus, Kenya will also lose out.

Either way Britons will make their choice. It is my hope that they vote against an exit from the EU. But a vote for exit from the EU would send Europe into a phase of profound change. It may give anti-European forces an easy time in shifting the balance of political, economic and social power across the continent. This will in turn affect Africa.

All in all Britons should vote knowing that a stay in the E.U will mean development across different parts of the world from their respective trade partners but if they vote for a breakaway from the E.U they would have spelt doom for the African continent and investors.

Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.

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