Relations between Britain and Malaysia will continue to flourish in the coming year and beyond following the former’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell said.
She said that the United Kingdom (UK) was an outward-looking country that would be yet more engaged globally given the opportunities that would open once it left the EU.
“For our friends and partners in Malaysia, I can assure you that a Global Britain will seek to build on our historic ties as well as deepen and broaden our bilateral relationship across a range of fronts,” she said in a statement yesterday.
Her comments were made on the heels of the ‘Brexit’ speech by UK Prime Minister Theresa May in London in which she said that Britain was leaving the EU’s single market as she unveiled the strategy for leaving the EU.
Treadell noted that since the historic EU referendum in June 2016, there had been two British Royal visits and three UK ministerial visits to Malaysia.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also met the British prime minister in New York in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly last year, and met the UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd when he was in London.
“In the coming year and beyond, you will see this level of engagement continue,” Treadell said.
The high commissioner said Britain’s digital economy partnership with Malaysia was set to flourish and other new initiatives unfold.
“With Britain hosting the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2018 and Malaysia the one after that, we have a unique opportunity to work together across two CHOGMs on issues like trade, countering extremism and supporting emerging Commonwealth nations towards their development goals.
“We will work with Malaysia on security and defence and we will develop our trade and investment relationship further towards the prospect of securing a Free Trade Agreement when the time is right for us to do so,” Treadell said.
She said Britain would seek to engage across Malaysian society too.