PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, June 24, (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago says it is a “bit too early” to determine what impact Britain’s decision to leave the European Union will have on the oil-rich, twin island Republic.
Britons voted to exit the European Union (EU) by a 52 to 48 percent margin, resulting in the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that he would be resigning and a new leader appointed in October.
Finance Minister, Colm Imbert, said while he was surprised at the outcome of the vote on Thursday, he does not believe the decision to leave the EU after 43 years, would have a lasting or damaging impact on the island.
“It has rattled the world’s financial market. It has created issues in the stock exchanges in New York, in Japan, Europe and so on, and so the financial markets …are worried now about the fact that London was an international financial centre…and it has not affected the price of oil.”
Imbert said the losses in oil have been small “and the experts say the loss will be temporary, because the fundamentals of supply and demand are still there and they expect the price to continue in the US$50 dollar range and beyond”.
Imbert said it may be a bit too early to discuss the real impact of the pull out on the local economy, but for now, he is not so worried.
“Our major trading partners are in North America, South and Central America, Continental Europe and the Far East. So that whether this will have any short term or any effect on us, (is) far too early to tell.
“We just have to wait and see, but this is not one of our major trading partners. It is an important partner for Trinidad and Tobago, but it is not one of our major trading partners. It is too early to tell,” Imbert said, noting that the issue of the European Union has for a long time been pone for Britons.
He said that the decision was made to leave by the working class people “who feel it is not good for their economy and it affects their standard of living, because they have to bail out some of the poorer countries.
“So there is this strong view, (it) is always there, and what has happened is that the working class in England are the ones who have, in the main, voted to leave, whereas the middle class and the intellectuals and the corporate citizens wanted to stay.
“But whether this will affect the EU, I don’t think so. The EU is an already strong organization. It’s been there since World War 2 and I don’t see the EU dissolving, at this point in time at all,” he added.