Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

CAPE TOWN – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies will meet with UK officials on Friday in an attempt to roll-over the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Southern African Customs Union, Mozambique and the UK, post-Brexit, to avoid a disruption of trade.

At stake is duty free access for many products to the UK for South African exporters, who sell products such as wine, automobiles, beef and fruit to that country.

If the talks succeed, an agreement might be ratified in Parliament next week. If not, an agreement to simply continue with further negotiations at a later date, might be reached, Davies said in a briefing at Parliament yesterday.

He warned however that South Africa’s trade issues with the UK post Brexit, “are a work in progress” given the high level of uncertainty about the Brexit process, which is “changing day-by-day, hour-by-hour.”

Yesterday the UK Parliament voted not to accept a proposed Brexit agreement between the EU and the UK, today they vote on whether to exit the EU without a deal, while they are likely to vote on requesting an extension of Brexit on Friday. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29

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