No change in relationship between Singapore and the UK: British High Commissioner

High Commissioner Scott Wightman leading a post-EU referendum media briefing hosted by The British High Commission on June 25, 2016.
High Commissioner Scott Wightman leading a post-EU referendum media briefing hosted by The British High Commission on June 25, 2016.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The close relationship between Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK) will remain unchanged following Thursday's Brexit vote, British High Commissioner to Singapore Scott Wightman said on Saturday (June 25).

Mr Wightman was speaking a day after the results of the historic referendum in which the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), and which led British Prime Minister David Cameron to announce that he will be stepping down.

While there are no figures for how many of the 30,000 to 35,000 British citizens here voted in Thursday's referendum, it has been a subject of great interest to the British community, said Mr Wightman at a post-EU referendum media briefing at Eden Hall, the official residence of the British High Commissioner in Singapore.

The decision of the British people will have a huge impact on the UK's future relationship with Europe, but what has not changed is that the UK will remain outward facing, he insisted.

Commenting on the close economic ties between the UK and Singapore, he said: "The UK for many years been a top destination for Singaporean investment. The bulk of that is in residential and commercial property, infrastructure and regulated assets, and there's no reason to think that the decision made by the British people will have any significant bearing in the medium to long term on the attractiveness for Singaporean investors for those sorts of assets in the UK, setting aside the short-term volatility that we have inevitably seen in the wake of what is obviously a very significant decision.

"In Singapore there are over 1,000 British companies, and big British companies like Rolls Royce and Standard Chartered are major employers and make significant contributions to Singapore's economy. So we will continue to be very important business partners.

"We will continue to be very engaged in East Asia as this is the most dynamic economic region in the world, and the UK has significant security interest at play in this region as well."