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How Brexit vote outcome will affect SA economy

On Tuesday, British parliamentarians will take part in a second meaningful vote, based on a revised withdrawal deal with the European Union.

FILE: Britain’s PM Theresa May speak during a debate on a motion of no confidence, in the House of Commons in London on 16 January 2019. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - All eyes are on British Prime Minister Theresa May as she puts three separate Brexit-related votes to the UK Parliament this week.

On Tuesday, British parliamentarians will take part in a second meaningful vote, based on a revised withdrawal deal with the European Union (EU).

Whatever is decided on Tuesday will have ramifications for the South African economy, particularly for exports from the Western Cape.

If the UK leaves with a withdrawal deal in place, it is likely the 29 March deadline could be extended to ensure technicalities are in place.

Wesgro, the Western Cape’s trade and promotions agency, predicts a transition period of two years and during this time, the UK will remain a part of the European Union customs union.

Wesgro's Karen Bosman says this means South Africa will continue to trade with the UK as if it were part of the EU for another two years.

“It’s our second largest export market, coming from the Western Cape, eight largest coming from South Africa.”

The top five exports from the Western Cape to the UK are wine and fresh grapes, apples, mandarins and oranges.

In 2017, 26% of fresh grape imports to the UK were from South Africa.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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