Same old empire: British govt’s post-Brexit plans will ‘fleece Africa’
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox was accused of using Brexit and its trade deal negotiations as a cover to expand corporate interests in developing countries and the cost of poor people’s lives.
“Africa has had quite enough of having terms of trade forced on it by Britain,” Institute for Research and the Promotion of Alternatives in Development Executive Director Mamadou Goita said.
“Oiling the wheels of Britain’s economy with cheap products and cheap labor has cost our farmers, our workers and our business people dearly.”
Trade is welcomed, he added, “on fair terms which preserves our independence.
“But we’ve had enough of the sort of exploitation that bleeds our countries of wealth and resources.
“Africa’s governments are increasingly standing up against exploitative trade deals with Europe. The Victorian delusions of the British government will not receive a positive hearing in today’s Africa.”
Fox is meeting representatives of Commonwealth countries on Thursday hoping to promote free-trade deals between the nations and their former colonial ruler. The event is organized by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, which in turn is supported by diamond mining companies, among other controversial corporations.
Skeptical Whitehall officials dubbed the plans ‘Empire 2.0’, pointing to the Cabinet’s lack of tact and respect for Britain’s former colonies.
“Unfortunately for Liam Fox and his plans for ‘Empire 2.0’, Britain no longer rules the waves, and can’t dictate the terms of trade to poorer countries in quite the way that it once could,” Global Justice Now Director Nick Dearden said.
“But that doesn’t mean that Fox won’t try to fleece African economies in the interests of putting as much ‘cheap stuff’ as possible on Western supermarket shelves.”