NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Kenya is closely monitoring the progress after Britain’s exit from the European Union and its possible impact to the economy, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu has said.
In a briefing at State House on Sunday, Esipisu said Kenya will maintain historical ties with United Kingdom and the European Union.
“The President is a believer in democracy as principle and the people of the United Kingdom exercised that right by voting to leave the European Union. Kenya will of course maintain its historical ties with Britain while continuing to engage a stable European Union,” he asserted.
He however said that the country and the East African region will have to negotiate fresh bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom, once the process of exit from EU is completed.
He says all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure Kenya’s economy remain stable despite any volatility that maybe witnessed across the globe.
“Governor of the Central Bank has already addressed in terms of what Kenya will do to deal with whatever volatility,” he assured. “The immediate repercussions for Kenya are limited.”
EU leaders pressured Britain Saturday to make a quick exit from the union, warning they could not afford to be left in “limbo” and that the divorce would not be “amicable”.
Foreign ministers of the EU’s founding member states, gathering in Berlin for crisis talks after Britain’s shock referendum outcome, said London must begin the process of leaving “as soon as possible”.
France’s Jean-Marc Ayrault went as far as to call for David Cameron, who has said he would resign by October, to make way more quickly for a new British prime minister to manage the transition out of the union.
As the EU grappled with the first defection in its six-decade history, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned London against foot-dragging now that it had made its choice.
He admitted that the EU had hoped Britain would stay but that now it was key to make the separation process as quick and painless as possible.
“It is not an amicable divorce but it was also not an intimate love affair,” he said.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz called Cameron’s decision to possibly wait until October to leave “scandalous”, saying that he was “taking the whole (European) continent hostage”.
It will fall to Cameron’s successor to lead the complex negotiations under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty which sets out a two-year timeframe to leave.
Even with this, still on Saturday, more than a million people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum, after “Leave” voters won a shock victory to pull Britain out of the European Union, an official website showed Saturday.
The website of the parliamentary petition at one point crashed due to the surge of people adding their names to the call for another nationwide poll following Thursday’s historic vote.
“We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based (on) a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum,” says the petition.
The Leave camp won the support of 51.9 percent of voters, against 48.1 percent in favour of remaining in the 60-year-old European bloc. Turnout for Thursday’s referendum was 72.2 percent.
The result revealed stark divisions between young and old, north and south, cities and rural areas, and university-educated people and those with fewer qualifications.