President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday, 4th July, held a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during which the two leaders agreed to start negotiations for a Kenya-United Kingdom post-Brexit trade agreement.
The negotiations, which are expected to be finalised ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) on 31st December 2020, will be conducted within the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership Framework established by the two leaders in January and the East African Community (EAC) parameters in order to enhance regional integration.
In the telephone conversation, President Kenyatta, speaking from State House, Nairobi, 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.
President Kenyatta thanked the British Government for extending a visa over-stay amnesty for Kenyan nationals in the UK who cannot travel back due to the Covid-19 restrictions until 30th May 2020.
The amnesty, President Kenyatta noted, had enabled Kenyans, especially students and workers, to apply for long-term visa renewals in the UK without having to travel back to Kenya as has been the norm.
President Kenyatta thanked the UK Government for supporting Kenya’s Worker Protection Scheme, which, he said, would benefit the garment and horticultural sectors so as to avoid massive staff layoffs due to the Covid-19 global economic disruption.
On Britain’s support for Kenya’s successful bid for the recent UN Security Council seat, President Kenyatta thanked Prime Minister Johnson for his country’s endorsement.
The two leaders affirmed their strong support for the Commonwealth and pledged to work together to ensure stability, continuity and the deepening of solidarity among Club’s member nations.