Commonwealth Offers to Help U.K. Navigate Brexit Shock via Trade

  • U.K. is fourth most important market for group of 53 nations
  • Botswana, Bangladesh most at risk if U.K. economy suffers

Countries that once helped form the British Empire can help support the U.K. economy through its transition away from the European Union, according to a report by the Commonwealth.

The study released on Wednesday estimated the U.K. to be the fourth most important market for the 53-member Commonwealth’s exports. It warned that Botswana, Seychelles, Belize and Bangladesh could suffer particularly if the British economy stumbles because it accounts for more than 10 percent of their foreign shipments.

“Our research shows that the U.K. is a very important market for many Commonwealth countries,” said Reginald Darius, head of economic policy for the group. “So obviously we are concerned about how an unfavorable post-Brexit U.K. trading regime and a sustained reduction in the pound will affect countries.”

Given the U.K.’s historical ties to them, Commonwealth nations may be a source of trade once Britain formally leaves the EU and is able to strike deals with other countries.

Patricia Scotland, the group’s secretary general, will tell central bankers and finance ministers from the bloc at a meeting in Washington this week that they can help Britain move from “shock to solutions.”

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