Sri Lankan ministers Harsha de Silva and Harin Fernando had travelled to Britain to influence Lankan community in the Uk to stay with the EU.
Under attack for supporting UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s failed campaign to persuade British people to remain in the European Union, Sri Lankan government on Friday said the decision was made keeping in view national priorities.
Leading a team of government officials, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha de Silva and Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando had travelled to Britain earlier this month to canvass support for Brexin among the Lankan community in the UK.
Dinesh Gunawardhana, the leader of the joint opposition group, today ridiculed the move after Britain in an historic referendum voted to leave the EU in a deadly blow to the 28-nation bloc, forcing Cameron to announce his intent to resign.
De Silva said the government was having its economic priorities at the fore when it campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU. “We want our exports to reach UK with no tariff barriers.
That’s why we campaigned,” de Silva said. He said Sri Lanka’s exports to EU had a 40% UK tax component. “We want our exports to grow,” de Silva said. In response to the Brexit vote results, de Silva said Sri Lanka now looks forward to signing a trade agreement with UK as its plan B. “The Prime Minister will soon give details of it,” de Silva told the parliament.