On January 21, the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Africa and APPG for Trade Justice are holding a parliamentary symposium on UK-Africa Trade and Brexit in the House of Commons, London.
In partnership with The Royal African Society and Oxford Brookes University, this event brings parliamentarians, academics, policy makers & stakeholders together to discuss contemporary research on UK-Africa Trade to discuss the findings of research in this area and to engage in open debate on the future trade relationship between the UK and Africa. This will build on the APPG for Africa's 2017 report on Africa-UK Trade and Development Relations Post-Brexit.
Some key questions we seek to explore in the one-day event- What does the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area mean for any new trade agreements with the UK? Could Brexit offer African countries and regions scope to improve the terms of their trade relationship with the UK? We intend to produce a policy briefing for UK parliamentarians and policy makers to capture the findings and outcomes from the symposium and better inform parliamentary oversight of future trade relations between the UK and Africa.
Keynote speakers include:
A provisional programme is below and will be updated in due course.
10.00 – 10.45 Registration, tea and coffee
10.45 - 12.00 UK-Africa trade in context (panel and open discussion):
Beyond signing continuity agreements, to preserve the regulations agreed under the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African regions, what alternatives to EPAs should the UK seek to negotiate? How should the UK address the concerns raised by African partners over the EPAs and in particular the issue of policy space for development? What does the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area mean for any new trade agreements with the UK? Will trade deals with the US and other partners set a precedent for UK trade negotiations with Africa?
12.00 – 13.15 Informal sandwich platter lunch
13.15 - 14.30 Power and interests (panel and open discussion):
Since the publication of the Department of Trade’s White Paper in October 2017, there have been concerns within the UK about the mechanisms for developing post-Brexit trade policy. Similarly, there was a lack of scrutiny and oversight of EPA negotiations across Africa. Should the UK replicate the formal mechanisms for civil society involvement included in recent EU trade deals or are these insufficient? What will Brexit mean for the UK’s key markets in Africa (South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya)? Will there be scope for ‘African agency’ in future trade negotiations with the UK? Does Brexit offer African countries and regions scope to improve the terms of their trade relationship with the UK?
14.45 – 16.00 Trade and UK foreign policy to Africa (panel and open discussion):
How will trade sit within the UK’s wider foreign policy ambitions? Where does Africa fit within the vision of ‘Global Britain’? How will trade policy work in relation to the Department for International Development’s work in Africa? Will it complement the UK’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals? Should the UK’s foreign aid budget be targeted in support of the UK government’s trade agenda in Africa?
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee and tea break
16.30 - 17.30 Concluding roundtable with African High Commissioners & Ambassadors:
This meeting will reflect on the findings of the workshop, drawer up conclusions, future actions and identify key areas for future investigation and focus by academics or parliamentarians and policy makers.
Jubilee Room, House of Commons, London, United Kingdom, SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom
The Royal African Society is a membership organisation that fosters a better understanding of Africa in the UK and throughout the world. Their goal is to promote Africa globally in the spheres of business, politics, academia, arts and culture. They disseminate knowledge and insight to make a positive difference to Africa’s development and celebrate the diversity and depth of African cultures.