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It’s just over two years since the UK voted to leave the world’s biggest and richest trading bloc, with dreams of setting up its own trade relationships with far-flung powerhouses such as New Zealand. It might be a week late to be writing about British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to SA, but seeing President Cyril Ramaphosa and May together I was reminded of a conversation I had with a government official commenting on an earlier trip by a UK delegation. The topic of discussion at the time was — what else? — the prospect of great post-Brexit trade relations. The official joked that the British must be desperate if they are trying their luck with SA, as we are hardly an economic powerhouse. Not long after May was back in the UK, news came that we were in the midst of our first recession in a decade. The president would prefer us to use the term "technical recession" and be assured that it will soon pass. It would be good if he’d explain what a "non-technical recession" is, and ...

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