Brexit will have little effect on Kenya, State House assures

Kenya will suffer few immediate consequences of the United Kingdom’s (UK) exit from the European Union, State House has said.

Speaking during a press briefing today (Sunday), State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu however said that the exit, which will be negotiated over time, will mean that the East African Community and Kenya will have to negotiate trade agreements with the UK and the EU afresh and separately.

“Our current engagements are within the framework of the EPAs with the EU. Our negotiation of a new framework for bilateral trade is something that, if needed, will happen over a period of time and we will continue to engage the United Kingdom on this issue,” said Esipisu.

Esipisu added that President Uhuru Kenyatta has accepted the will of the British people, adding that Kenya will continue to maintain its historic ties with Britain and the European Union.

“The President is a believer in democracy as a principle, and the people of the United Kingdom exercised that right in voting to leave the European Union,” he said.

He acknowledged that Brexit has elicited debate and concern in the country, with many fearing that the free fall of the British currency could have negative effects on the shilling.

Speaking on Friday, Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge said that the CBK was ready to intervene in the foreign exchange and money markets to support the shilling.

“The Central Bank of Kenya stands ready to intervene in the money and foreign exchange markets to ensure their smooth operation. Other major central banks have also announced their readiness to intervene to minimise disruption in their markets,” Dr Njoroge said in a statement.

Esipisu added that the government is watching developments closely and putting in place measures to ensure the nation is not affected.

“For now, we continue to watch developments closely, and the Foreign Ministry and other relevant departments are engaged in analysing and putting in place measures that ensure we as a nation are not adversely affected,” he said.

latest stories