Prelims level : International relations Mains level : Paper III International relations
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Why in News:

  • British PM calls for another BREXIT extension.

What is BREXIT:

  • It is the abbreviation of “British Exit” from the European Union (EU).

What is European union:

  • The EU is a political, trade and economic union founded in 1957. It evolved over decades and reached its present model in 1992.
  • There are 51 countries in Europe, out of which 28 countries have signed a treaty to become a part of the European Union.
  • The EU treaty provided for a European Parliament and European Council which consisted of representatives of the member states.
  • EU members account for 16 per cent of world imports and exports. It is the largest trading bloc in the world surpassing the US.
  • In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

Why “Leave EU” campaign:

  • The Leave Campaign argues that Britain is losing out a big deal by staying in the EU. It has to pay millions of pounds each week as a contribution to the European budget.
  • The extremely bureaucratic nature of the European parliament is hurting British exporters. Migration from the European Union into Britain (mainly PIGS economies) is creating an imbalance in the welfare schemes of the UK government.


  • A referendum was held on June 23, 2016, to decide whether Britain should exit or remain in the European Union.
  • A referendum denotes voting in which everyone of voting age can take part, normally giving a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to a question. The side which gets more than half of all votes cast is declared a winner.
  • 51.9% of voters favoured exit of Britain from the EU. It is the first time since the EU was founded in 1957 that a member country is leaving.

India, UK, and EU:

  • India is one of the top investors in the UK.
  • Many of these firms made investments with the wider European market in mind.
  • Together, the UK and Europe account for over-a-quarter of the country’s IT exports, worth around $30bn. The UK is the third largest source of foreign direct investment in India and India’s largest G20 investor.
  • India is the third largest source of FDI to the UK in terms of numbers of projects. India invests more in the UK than in the rest of Europe combined, emerging as the UK’s third largest FDI investor.

Options for British PM:

  • Delaying the Brexit – Theresa May will put forward a request to extend article 50. This would buy her more time to try and get more concessions from the EU and hold a third vote on her deal.
  • A no-deal Brexit – A hard Brexit remains the default option in EU law. Many Brexiters hold the view no deal is better than a bad deal. The threat of a no-deal Brexit has been key to May’s negotiating strategy with the European Union.
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