Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reiterated that the decision to establish a commission to review his country’s relationship with the Caribbean Community (Caricom) was not intended to create an avenue for it to leave the 15-member regional integration movement.
While addressing the two-day Caricom summit on the single market and economy (CSME), Holness said that it was imperative that the commission under the chairmanship of former prime minister Bruce Golding was established to give his then new administration empirical evidence of its relationship with Caricom and the wider Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM).
“So from a practical point of view, from a political point of view it became an issue that the Government had to consider,” he said making reference to the problem experienced by Jamaicans in their attempt to freely enter some Caribbean countries.
“Then there were considerations from the private sector that made a point at every engagement to bring to the attention of the Government the difficulties they were having in accessing the markets of the region,” Holness told his colleagues, adding “and there were concerns about unfair practices and energy was used as the case in point”.
“The intention of the report was not to create a cover for Jamaica for JEXIT,” Holness said, in an apparent reference to Brexit, the decision by Britain to leave the European Union after many decades.