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With the issue of when, how and even if the UK exits the EU dominating the news, the question that immediately arises is what this will mean for SA. The EU as a bloc is SA’s largest trading partner. The UK is SA’s second-biggest trading partner in the EU, with total trade between the two countries in 2017 amounting to R79.6bn, excluding gold. This represents 18% of SA exports to the EU and 10% of EU imports from SA. The Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), Mozambique and the UK currently trade under the terms of the Southern Africa Development Community-EU economic partnership agreement, which provisionally entered into force on October 10 2016. On March 29 2017 the UK invoked article 50 of the EU treaty notifying of its intention to withdraw from the bloc. Article 50 provides for a two-year period within which the EU and UK must finalise and agree on the terms of their future relationship. The UK’s exit from the EU will have implications for third parties that will depend on when...

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