Brexit: Jamaica’s cue to Exit (CARICOM)


Photo credits: Atlanta Black Star

So Britain decided to exit the EU and all hell literally broke loose; will Jamaica follow suit and hightail it out of CARICOM? For all intents and purposes, CARICOM was designed to “…improve standards of living and work; the full employment of labor and other factors of production.” Additionally, according to Coalition for the International Criminal Court, CARICOM was designed to facilitate “…accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with third States; enhanced levels of international competitiveness…” to name a few. However, this has not quite been the case in recent years.

Jamaica vs. the Rest


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My little island has a wealth of resources, ranging from creative geniuses (music, poetry, crafts) to tourism. Additionally, we have agricultural and mineral resources that make us the envy of many developed countries. But, what I find astonishing is that some of our regional neighbours have been unrelenting in their efforts to stifle our economy. We have seen examples of tyranny by Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, towards Jamaicans in particular. Now, this is not from an individual level, but from a systematic, bureaucratic level, where the governments of the countries involved could work towards fixing some of these issues. More recently, Antigua and Barbuda has joined on the band wagon to make business difficult for budding Jamaican entrepreneurs.

Amicable Solution

Jamaica has been substantially independent over the years, but in a sense that it has relied very little on it’s regional neighbours. Moreover, Jamaica receives more aid from China than it does from its own backyard (insert *eye emoji*). I kid you not! Our regional neighbours are typically unfazed by regional crises and look out mainly for themselves. Therefore, what is the purpose of CARICOM if members are not held accountable for breaking laws of the treaty and continuously do so?


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We should perhaps graciously leave and continue to focus on our agenda of economic development and continue to compete aggressively. We have seen way too many infractions on the part of our regional counterparts that go unresolved. Our aim should be to define ourselves as a unique treasure in the Caribbean which Includes:


  1. The richest Caribbean culture known worldwide
  2. The most sought-after human resources from the Caribbean
  3. The highest number of female managers/leaders per capita
  4. Some of the most talented individuals
  5. Marijuana (one of the fastest growing industries in the world)

Consequently, Jamaica, I would encourage us as a people to work towards seeing the pros and cons of being a member of CARICOM. Additionally, consider the value of being in this community as it relates to support and overall economic and regional involvement. ~JGIC

Jodi-Ann is a Master of Arts in Geography candidate in Nova Scotia who enjoys helping international students and represents her native island, Jamaica, every opportunity she gets. An educator at heart, she enjoys taking each opportunity to offer advice and answer questions about school, life and work. If you want to get to know her, walk with your pet cat, one of Jodi’s published books, and chocolate – the good kind!


3 thoughts on “Brexit: Jamaica’s cue to Exit (CARICOM)

  1. Gordon AR Edwards, SR

    A word for the wise: my goodly author needs to research and properly assess the benefits that Jamaica and Jamaicans enjoy in the smaller Caribbean nations by their sheer number presence vis-a-vis employment as a result of the same regionalism that is being imputed. A comparison between China’s and CARICOM’s contribution/support to Jamaica is rediculous for obvious reasons: size, economic resources, market source, etc. One cannot or ought not to forget that Jamaica was the first to withdraw from the West Indies Federation (WIF) that eventually led to the dismantling of the said organization. Even though the WIF fell apart, we cannot forget that it was the same small islands that held together for CARIFTA to happen and later to become the platform for the formation of CARICOM. Hands down, Jamaica has benefited more from CARICOM than any other nation in the organization (check the stats/data on CARICOM trade, people movement, influence/leverage academic institutions, a.k.a. UWI). I’m for the rule: once you leave CARICOM, there should be no return. Twice exit cannot be rewarded by a
    Third opportunity. (Just like the BREXIT, Jamaica had its own JAMEXIT already with West Indies Federation; a JAMEXIT CARICOM, should have permanent implications for Jamaica this time.

    1. jamaicangirl Post author

      Hi Gordon, Thank you for your commentary and your perspective; greatly appreciated and I welcome the discussion. I have in fact done some research, including some on the WIF, etc. My stance is on future relations as the hostility continues to brew between “partnered” Caribbean nations. I understand fully the benefits of being a part of CARICOM, but what I have noticed is that we are heading towards a stalemate with some of our counterparts, making our agreement a farce. The example about China was used to highlight the direction within which the region is headed, and based on this trajectory, it does not appear to be a favourable path. My stance is whether T & T and Antigua & Barbuda will be held accountable for their obvious breach of the CARICOM treaty and work on the biases that exist against their neighbours (incl. Haiti with regards to T & T); if not, I believe the organization serves very little purpose.

    2. Sham

      Think that you are mixing up facts. Jamaica accounts for over 34 percent of intra-regional imports while Trinidad and Tobago accounts for over 70 per cent of both regional and international exports. Jamaica has experienced a marked decline in its exports, while becoming the largest intra-CARICOM importer of goods. Also, Jamaica hardly grew at all from the year 1994-2004 while being a part of CARICOM. In addition, the CARICOM market has not been favorable, exports from Jamaica to other CARICOM member states from 2000-2002 has only account for 5-7 percent along with Belize and Suriname. Jamaica is being mistreated by other countries because of maybe jealousy. and don’t forget the Shaniqua Myrie care because that was just 1 of many. it is not right for Jamaica to be pushed around the way they are now and on that grounds its either they fix that within the CSME or Jamaica leaves. Jamaica is not benefiting at all.


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