Kenya and the United Kingdom have agreed to commence talks on a post-Brexit trade pact.
Both sides were optimistic to reach an agreement by the end of the year.
According to State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena, the negotiations will be conducted within the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership Framework established by the two leaders in January 2020 and the East African Community (EAC) parameters in order to enhance regional integration.
On Saturday, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke on phone with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson where the two leaders agreed to start discussions on a new trade agreement.
“In the telephone conversation, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Johnson also discussed several Kenya-UK bilateral interests among them the two nation’s response to the global Covid-19 health crisis,” she said in a statement.
This also collaborated with a statement from the UK Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, which stated that “The two leaders discussed the challenges posed by Coronavirus and agreed on the importance of international collaboration in the fight to tackle the virus. They also agreed to continue our countries’ close cooperation on issues of trade and security, including in the fight against al-Shabab.”
Kanze said President Kenyatta thanked the British Government for extending visa over-stay amnesty for Kenyan nationals in the UK who cannot travel back due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions until 30th May 2020.
“The visa amnesty, the head of state noted had enabled Kenyans especially students and workers, to apply for long-term visa renewal in the UK without having to travel back to Kenya as has been the norm,” she said.
The U.K. left the European Union on Jan. 31 however, it was given until Dec 31 to conclude the transition.