The Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), His Excellency Jan Sadek, on Wednesday, 29th January 2019, handed over a Note Verbale to the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, notifying SADC of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).
His Excellency Ambassador Sadek indicated that the United Kingdom will leave the EU as of 1st February 2020. In order to address the specific situation of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, the Withdrawal Agreement provides for a time-limited transition period from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020. However, the Agreement foresees the possibility of adopting a single decision extending the transition period for up to 24 months, and in the event of extension there will be communication to that effect.
His Excellency Ambassador Sadek explained that, except for certain very limited exceptions, the Union law will be applicable to and in the UK. This means that the UK will be treated as a Member State of the Union and the EURATOM for the purposes of the international agreements during the transition period.
His Excellency Ambassador Sadek pointed out that the EU will remain a strong cooperating partner for regional integration and development in the SADC region.
In receiving the Note Verbale, Her Excellency Dr. Tax thanked Ambassador Sadek for the continued cooperation, and support which the EU renders to SADC. She indicated that the SADC Secretariat will thoroughly study the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on, among other things, the trade relations and agreements between SADC Member States and the UK.
During the meeting, the SADC Executive Secretary took the opportunity to appeal for humanitarian assistance to the Republic of Madagascar following the torrential rains and floods that have affected over 106,000 people in seven regions of the country, displacing over 16,000 people and leaving at least 170 people dead. The Government of Madagascar has since declared a State of Emergency on 24th January 2020.