By STEPHEN LIDDLEThe South African township of Chester has said all options are being considered as Brexit talks stall over the future of the EU’s single market.

In a statement issued on Monday, Chester Mayor Richard Mokowie said he had decided to “stand down” from his post at the end of the month and had asked for the support of the state government, the South African Trade and Development Corporation and the city’s union.

“We have all been advised of the various options that are being explored to preserve our position as the largest and most important port in South Africa and our economy,” he said.

“Chester has been the birthplace of South Africa’s first black township, Chester Town, which was founded in 1790, and we have long been the focus of the Black South African movement.”

Chester is also the site of the first of the “Great Britain” rail lines, which were the first to run between London and the British capital, and were originally planned to run through the township.

However, Mr Mokwie said in a statement that his decision was based on the needs of the town.

“The city of Chester is now in the process of making the best possible use of its existing assets and has a strong track record of successful investment in infrastructure and community services,” he added.

“If Chester is to continue to thrive as an international city, it must be the focus for all sectors of its economy.

This includes the development of Chester’s port, its future role as a major economic centre, and its ability to attract foreign investment in a time of global uncertainty.”

In its statement, Chester said it was not seeking to leave the EU in any way.

“In its long history as a township, our relationship with the European Union has always been positive,” it said.

“The township is committed to continuing to build on its rich history and legacy of economic and social inclusion.”

It said it had a strong record of economic development in the township and would continue to invest in the city, including infrastructure projects.

It also said it would “engage constructively with the Government of South African Republic” to develop the township’s port.

“Our priority is to support our people, communities and economy,” Chester said.

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