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BRITISH EXIT FROM EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON NIGERIA’S FOREIGN RELATIONS (BREXIT)


The Great Britain’s exit from European Union through referendum, won by 52 percent to 48 percent, showed that it was a close decision and that Britain was equally divided between those that wanted to remain and those that wanted to go
. This decision to leave the EU which made their Prime Minister David Cameron to resign from office has great impact on allies of Britain including its former colonies like Nigeria.  The immediate impact of the exit of Britain from the 28-member nation group (European Union) would be the redefinition of the relationship between Nigeria and its former colonial master. Of course when Britain was among the EU the alliance states like Nigeria benefited from it greatly in ways like grants, military assistance, easy migration assistance etc.
REMOVAL OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The new Britain would want to look inwards and cut cost, especially from most of the assistance it was giving to developing countries. Nigeria is Britain’s second largest trading partner in Africa with a trade volume which currently stands at six billion pounds (about N2.48 trillion). However, The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Bola Akinterinwa said the development would have negative consequences on Nigeria because value of the British currency against the dollar and the euro has diminished and they would try to reduce their grants and make their currency to match up to expectations again.
UK under David Cameron had been supporting Nigeria, particularly in the fight against corruption and insurgency in the north east, adding that such support may no longer be in place as the ideology of the new Britain may be to use its resources to develop and take care of its people.
          In conclusion, The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United Kingdom would shrink over time and a weaker and smaller UK economy would scale back its investment in development projects in Nigeria.
POSITIVE EXCHANGE RATE
The parity of the Naira to the Pound Sterling, if the Pound Sterling is falling, is good for Nigeria; it is a welcome development at that level. Nigeria and other countries may technically benefit from the exit of Britain from the EU by making use of some of the advantages, such as the devaluation of pound sterling against other international currencies. With the exit (of Britain from EU), the Pound Sterling has fallen against the U.S. Dollar, while Euro too has also fallen. For fear of the unknown, investors immediately began to move their investments thinking of relocation and that affected the value of the Pound and it began to fall. So, if the Pound Sterling is falling, it is good for Nigeria, particularly at this time that the Naira is struggling to find it true value in the money market under the new policy introduced recently by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

IMMIGRATION AND VISA APPLICATION
This situation in Britain would foster anti-immigration around the world, and this will affect Nigeria who has a large population of its citizens in Diaspora. It is expected that Britain will be very strict on visa applications especially from countries like Nigeria which has a large visa applicants to the United Kingdom. Due to their intended economic investments they will have to cut their costs and manage their resources effectively.
       So most citizens of  Nigeria that would try to apply for visa to Britain may probably end up rejected.
INVESTMENT POTENTIAL
Investment in Britain by Nigerian businessmen would be less attractive since the country would no longer offer full access to the lucrative EU market. Trade agreements between EU countries and non-EU countries are negotiated by the European Commission. The benefits of deepening integration and socio-economic development through economic blocs in Africa especially Nigeria would be punctured due to Brexit.
       The issue of promoting and facilitating technology transfer especially foreign technology transfer through direct investment will be reduced. This technology transfer is achieved through the execution of project agreements between Nigerians and their foreign counterparts.
In conclusion, this exit of the Britain from the European Union through the referendum results of  51.9% to leave with 17,410,742 Votes  and 48.1% to stay with 16,141,241 Votes will surely have its advantages and disadvantages in the international system. Its disadvantages of course is bigger than the good prospects it has for Nigeria and surely it will affect Nigerians through visa application, foreign aids, investment and development projects etc.
So the federal government has to redefine its foreign policy and refocus its ability to be able to relate with the EU and the new British government.

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