TOPIC: General Studies 2:
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
Biggest parliamentary majority for Boris Johnson ( BREXIT)
- Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the biggest parliamentary majority
- Prime Minister has promised to quickly push through Parliament the Withdrawal Agreement giving consent to his Brexit deal.
- Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) will be introduced within days
- They will have until the deadline of January 31 to get the Bill through both Houses of Parliament.
- Once Parliament has passed the Bill, the European Parliament will need to ratify the Brexit deal at its end.
- That done, Britain will be out of the EU.
- A British delegation will thereafter begin talks on a trade deal that will define the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
- Separate delegations will begin talks on trade deals with other countries as well, including India
- Brexit – British exit – refers to the UK leaving the EU.
- Brexit is the scheduled withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU).
- Following a June 2016 referendum, in which 51.9% of participating voters voted to leave, the UK government formally announced the country’s withdrawal in March 2017, starting a two-year process that was due to conclude with the UK withdrawing on 29 March 2019.
- As the UK parliament thrice voted against the negotiated withdrawal agreement, that deadline has been extended twice, and is currently 31 October 2019.
- The ‘Benn Act’ that passed in Parliament requires the government to seek a third extension if no agreement is reached before 19 October.
What is the European Union?
- The EU is an economic and political union involving 28 European countries. It allows free trade and free movement of people to live and work in whichever country they choose.
- The UK joined in 1973 (when it was known as the European Economic Community). If the UK leaves, it would be the first member
What after Brexit?
- EU will start carrying out checks on British goods.
- This could lead to delays at ports, such as Dover. Some fear that this could lead to traffic bottlenecks, disrupting supply routes and damaging the economy.
- If the pound falls sharply in response to no deal and there are significant delays at ports, like Dover, it could affect the price and availability of some foods.
- There are also concerns over potential shortages of medicines.
Positive effects of Brexit in India:
- To reset legal terms: Brexit is an opportunity for India to reset the legal terms of its trade with the UK and EU, at the multilateral level, and through free trade agreements.
- Students friendly: Before Brexit, British universities were forced to offer scholarships and subsidies to the citizens of the UK and EU. Brexit frees up funds for the other students and more Indian students might be able to get scholarships.
- Increases tourism: Reduction in pound value will reduce travelling cost to the UK and will make it a good travel destination.
- Huge investment: Brexit will help strengthen our ties with Britain because India’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship still makes it an attractive destination for outsourcing and investment.
- Goods and services: According to the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) figures, total trade in goods and services between the UK and India was 18 billion pounds in 2017, a 15 per cent increase from 2016.
- Current account deficit: Lower commodity prices, crude oil prices may help narrowing current account deficit (CAD)
- Trading partners: The UK and the EU are losing trading partners in the process. So they will both be looking for replacements. Here, India can play a crucial role. We may see enhanced cooperation in segments like technology, cyber security, defence production and finance.
Negative effects of Brexit in India:
- Short term effects: Automobile, Pharmacy and IT might be the most affected. NASSCOM has predicted that the effect of Brexit will be felt on the $108 Billion Indian IT sector in the short term.
- Automobile industry: In the automobile industry, Brexit may lead to reduction in sales and companies that derive good revenues of profits from Britain could get hurt majorly.
- Disruptions: Indian companies would need to recalibrate European operations, like setting up an additional operating company within European Union. This means short term disruptions will have a financial impact, as also take up management time.
- Immigration: Because of the large number of immigrants from EU, UK has restricted immigrants from other parts of the world, which had an impact on Indians.
- Restrictions: Post Brexit, immigration into UK of Indians may not become easier as the UK wants to place quantitative restrictions on total number of immigrants, and only a few Indians with special skills may find it easier to work in the UK.
- India should re-negotiate with the UK and EU the World Trade Organization Schedules of Concessions, for both goods and services, should resume its FTA discussions with the EU, and should prepare to launch FTA talks with the UK.
Connecting the dots:
- Do you think UK should come back into the EU after leaving?