PM May says Britain committed to free trade with Kenya after Brexit

VALLETTA, MALTA - NOVEMBER 11: British Home Secretary Theresa May receives a tour of HMS Bulwark during the Valletta Summit on migration on November 11, 2015 in Valletta, Malta. The Summit will bring together representatives from the European Union and African countries to address the challenges and opportunities of the largest migration of people to Europe since World War II. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

By George Obulutsa

NAIROBI, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Britain is committed to continuing free trade with Kenya after it leaves the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said during a visit to Nairobi on Thursday.

May was speaking on the third stop of a trip to Africa during which she has said she wants Britain to become the biggest investor in the continent in Africa out of the Group of Seven nations.

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“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union we are committed to a smooth transition that ensures continuity in our trading relationship with Kenya, ensuring Kenya retains its duty free quota free access to the UK market,” May said.

Britain is Kenya’s largest trading partner.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking alongside May at a news conference, said he welcomed her assurance that Kenyan duty free exports would continue after Brexit and said Kenya will be pressing for an increase in exports.

He said two agreements signed on Thursday — one to enhance military cooperation, the other for Britain to return assets and proceeds of corruption to Kenya — indicated the close ties between his country and its former colonial power.

Margaret Thatcher was the last British prime minister to visit Kenya, in 1988.

Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan in London Writing by Maggie Fick, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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