President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday held private talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during which the two leaders agreed to start negotiations for a Kenya-United Kingdom (UK) post-Brexit trade agreement.
The negotiations, which are expected to be finalized 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 2020 and the East African Community (EAC) parameters in order to enhance regional integration.
In a telephone conversation at State House, President Kenyatta 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 visa over-stay amnesty for Kenyan nationals in the UK who cannot travel back due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions until 30th May 2020.
The visa amnesty, President Kenyatta noted, had enabled Kenyans especially students and workers, to apply for long-term visa renewal in the UK without having to travel back to Kenya as has been the norm.
President Kenyatta further thanked the UK Government for supporting Kenya’s Worker Protection Scheme which he said will benefit garment and horticultural sectors so as to avoid massive staff layoffs during the current Covid-19 global economic disruption.
On Britain’s support for Kenya’s successful bid for the recent UN Security Council elections, President Kenyatta thanked Prime Minister Johnson for his country’s endorsement.
The two leaders affirmed their strong support for the Commonwealth and committed to working together to ensure stability, continuity and the deepening of solidarity among Commonwealth nations.