International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Ambassador Field explains what Brexit means for Bosnia

January 30, 2020

On 31 January, the UK leaves the European Union. With this departure, the UK Government fulfils a commitment made following the referendum of 2016. This was a democratic decision, and a historic one. It is understandable to ask what this means for the UK in Bosnia and Herzegovina – a country working to join that same organisation – and in the wider world. In both senses, you will see more not less of the UK, UK Ambassador to Bosnia Matt Field wrote in his latest blog.

“I regularly ask people across BiH what specifically they would like the UK to focus on, to inform our priorities. So we are helping to reduce red tape for business to create more and better jobs, and depoliticising public companies to provide better services to citizens, especially in healthcare, transport and the environment,” he said, adding: “We are supporting more transparent and stronger courts, to tackle corruption and organised crime, and strengthening the election process to build confidence in results.”

“We are teaching coding and critical thinking in every BiH primary school, and sending the largest ever group of BiH scholars to the UK to study, to prepare them for 21st century jobs. And we are supporting reforms in the BiH Armed Forces, to protect BiH interests and contribute to international security,” said the ambassador.

During the period ahead, the UK will work with the EU to agree the next stage of their relationship, across the many economic, security, environmental and other areas in which we are present today, Field explained, noting that his country is leaving the EU but not Europe and will continue to play “the same active role close to home.”

“You will see us continue to work closely with the EU as a partner, because our interests, history and goals remain so closely aligned. This is important in BiH, a country working to join the EU. It is not the UK’s place to tell BiH whether or not to join, but we do respect the overwhelming support here for that aim. And we will ensure our practical support complements the demands of EU accession, especially in the critical areas of rule of law, democratic institutions and creating economic opportunity, because these are the right things for BiH in the short-term, irrespective of EU membership in the long-term,” he said.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a407181/Ambassador-Field-explains-what-Brexit-means-for-Bosnia.html

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