Sri Lankan business leaders discuss ‘Brexit’ with H.E. James Dauris

HE James Dauris at Horton Debate

Top Sri Lankan business personalities met H.E James Dauris, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, at a Horton Debate event in Colombo recently to discuss “Brexit,” the possible exit of Britain from the European Union.

Among the attendees were Aelian Gunawardene, Reyaz Mihular, Sega and Sarala Nagendra, Hon. Tharaka Balasuriya, Sharm De Alwis, Joyce Gunawardene, Sanjivani Jayawardena, Ranjan Hulugalle, Shyamica Fernando and Leif Ohlson.

Hon. Nirj Deva Aditya, Member of the European Parliament, and Patron of the Society, presided over the event.

Some think tanks predict a contraction in British trade and a weaker pound if the referendum in June favors an exit. Others, however, disagree.

Dauris explained the official position of the British government and examined the question from several aspects before responding to questions from the audience. Deva Aditya too weighed the pros and cons of a “leave” vote

The vote is expected to be close with latest polls showing 46 percent in favor of an exit, and 44 percent against it.

James, who was accompanied by his wife Helen, was previously Ambassador to Peru and joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1995.

He served in Colombia as deputy head of mission from 2005 to 2009 and as deputy head of the EU External Department from 2002 to 2003. Other positions include head of the Commercial Section in Moscow and head of the Maritime Section, Aviation and Maritime Department in London.

The membership-based Horton Debate Society (invitation@hortondebate.com) organizes opportunities for Sri Lankans to interact with international personalities to promote networking and development of the Sri Lankan economy.

The group has organized several events this year with former and current prime ministers, leading international economists and members of the European Parliament during their visits to Sri Lanka. The organizers said some exciting events are on the cards this year.