In the UK, a reduction in the level of ODA cannot be ruled out, especially when a Brexit has a negative economic impact. At least it is likely that UK ODA funds will be diverted to strategic partner countries and objectives that serve the UK`s geopolitical and economic interests. Within the EU, discussions on the new budgetary framework could adapt priority regions and development cooperation themes. In relations between the EU and ACP countries, this could lead to future imbalances with France-dominated West and North Africa, which are also linked to security and migration issues, as well as with countries with strong historical ties to the UK, such as Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as caribbean and Pacific countries. These tensions are already evident in negotiations for an agreement to succeed the Cotonou agreement. As the largest donor of development aid, the UK contributes 1.5 billion pounds a year to EU official development assistance (ODA), two-thirds of which is spent on the official EU budget and one-third to the European Development Fund (EDF). The withdrawal agreement would ensure that payments continue during the transitional period, i.e. for at least one more year. More importantly, a transition period would allow for the coordination of new institutional arrangements before the UK and the EU adjust their development policies and financial contributions after 2020. EU negotiators have sought a clear process for Brexit: first, a withdrawal agreement on pressing and outstanding issues, such as citizens` rights, financial commitments and the Irish border, followed by a second round of negotiations on future relations. Under recent agreements and agreements, the second phase could begin on 1 February 2020, before the UK leaves the EU at the end of 2020. The EU will work towards a comprehensively revised agreement, based on a common basis at THE ACP level, in conjunction with three bespoke regional partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering EU relations with 79 countries, 48 of them from sub-Saharan Africa.
African members of OACPS are also offended by the fact that the EU has negotiated EPAs with individual states. The African Union (AU) is trying to establish an African free trade area. But if different states have their own agreements with the EU, that makes it difficult. "These agreements have led to a great division and fragmentation of the African position," Carlos Lopes, the AU`s representative for relations with Europe, said in early June. The Council reaffirmed its intention to finalise the negotiating guidelines as soon as possible in order to be ready to begin negotiations with THE ACP PARTENAIRES countries by the end of August 2018, as envisaged in the current agreement.