The British ambassador to the Philippines has offered ways ASEAN can learn from the experience of Britain's exit from the European Union.
British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad on Monday said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations can learn from Britain's exit or Brexit from the European Union in terms of "avoiding the areas of difficulty."
He said ASEAN members can create and open markets "where you could trade with each other and negotiate trade deals as a bloc."
"What you see in the UK is a desire of a member state to have a strong voice in determining their economic well-being, sovereignty, defense and other ambitions that any country has," said Ahmad.
He also assured that the Brexit will have no major impact on the situation of some 250,000 Filipinos living and working there.
Neither would Britain's exit have an impact on its immigration laws, especially for Filipinos who want to migrate there, Ahmad added.
"We have special categories of our immigration rules that allow essential workers to come in. It's not that we are suddenly shutting the gates to people moving. We make our own decisions as to who comes and goes," said Ahmad in a press briefing on Monday at the British Embassy in Taguig City.
Britain and the European Union have serious disagreements on opening borders to refugees from Syria and other conflict stricken Middle East countries.
"Migration of people within the EU and the UK is something that should be negotiated on how that takes place," said Ahmad. "Our government has been at pains to reassure everybody living in the UK that there is no immediate change to their status."
The European Union's core values include human rights, democracy and the rule of law, but Ahmad said migration should not be equated with human rights.
"It is wrong to put human rights and migration in the same pot," said Ahmad, reacting to issues of opening the borders of the United Kingdom to refugees from Syria.
Source: China Post