Britain’s looming exit from the EU has brought into question the benefits of intraregional trade, with some commentators suggesting it could sound a warning on Africa’s regional integration. Advocates of Brexit point to a decline in Britain’s trade with its EU partners as an indication that a focus on intra-EU trade is no longer a priority for Britain. It is worth noting that since 2012, Britain’s exports to the rest of the world have overtaken its exports to the EU. This is in part because emerging economies have shown higher growth than Europe and have thus offered more opportunity. Brexiteers also argue that Britain’s EU membership has hindered the growth of the UK’s trade with non-EU nations (including with its former colonies), with insufficient benefit gained from trading with EU member states to compensate. It is notable that the EU itself recognises the importance of trade with the world’s emerging, faster-growing economies. The EU advocates an active free-trade policy towar...

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