On 31 January 2019, the Department for International Trade announced that the Trade Policy Minister, George Hollingbery, signed the trade continuity agreement in London with a number of representative governments. A continuity agreement will see British businesses and consumers benefitting from continued trade with Eastern and Southern Africa after the UK leaves the European Union. 

The Agreement replicates the effects of the existing EU Economic Partnership Agreement with Eastern and Southern Africa.

It will allow continued tariff-free imports from Eastern and Southern Africa, and removes the majority of tariffs on British exports to these countries over the coming years.

The agreement ensures that there will be no disruption to our trading relationship with Eastern and Southern Africa as we leave the leave the EU.

Trading on these preferential terms rather than on World Trade Organization terms will deliver significant savings and help to support British jobs.

This will help to further strengthen the trading relationship between the UK and these countries, which was worth £1.5 billion in 2017.

The Agreement will come into effect as soon as the implementation period ends in January 2021, or on 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.