Prelims level : International Event Mains level : GS II Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
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  • The European Union (EU) has published details of its completed preparations for a no-deal Brexit, as it warned that such scenario was becoming increasingly likely despite the delay to Brexit till 12 April.
  • EU would delay Brexit till May 22 just before elections to the European Parliament if Ms. May’s deal was passed by Parliament this week, and would give London time till April 12 to come up with alternative options if the deal were not passed.

A third country:

  • Under the plans, the EU would treat the U.K. as a third country without any transitionary arrangements and would apply World Trade Organisation rules and tariffs at its border with the U.K. This would result in U.K. citizens travelling to the U.K. no longer being able to go through the EU queue, while goods coming from the U.K. would be faced with stringent checks, and significant delays at the border.
  • U.K. nationals would be subject to entry checks, including on the duration of their stay, the purpose of their visit, and whether or not they have sufficient funds.

In the Past:

  • Meanwhile, efforts are under way within Parliament to attempt to gain control of the negotiations and over the direction of Brexit focussing on the kind of relationship the U.K. had had with Europe in the 1970s and 80s when it focussed on “clear economic benefits” rather than an ever-closer political union.
  • This includes proposals for a so-called “Common Market 2.0” by a group of Labour and Conservative MPs that would bring in a softer Brexit. It is not yet clear whether this proposal would command the support of a majority within Parliament.

Brexit – UK and the European Union

Brexit: What does it mean to Britain?

  • As per International Monetary Fund (IMF), a vote to exit the European Union in the referendum could leave Britain’s economy more than 5 per cent smaller by 2019 than if it stays in the 28-nation club.
  • Brexit could cause the country’s economy to be between 3.8 and 7.5 per cent smaller by 2030.
  • The pound expected to fall by around 20 per cent. This would mean that exports to the UK will suffer and imports from the UK will gain. Export companies operating in the UK will gain, while import companies will lose.
  • More foreign tourists will visit Britain in the coming days as the currency value has fallen. More foreign students may prefer Britain for higher education as the fees may seem cheaper.
  • EU citizens in Britain and Brits living in other EU nations would have to update their immigration statuses.
  • Companies operating in both the UK and the EU would have to verify that they’re compliant with two sets of laws.
  • US President Obama has warned that it could take 10 years for Britain to negotiate a new trade deal with the US.
  • The referendum results (52:48) is very close. This means a major division of opinion in Britain which has social implications too. While the less educated and the old seems to favour the ‘leave EU’ campaign, the young and the employed are more in favour of Britain staying in the EU.
  • Brexit could encourage England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland to appeal for quitting the United Kingdom.

Brexit: What does it mean to the World?

  • Remittance from the UK to countries outside in terms of Pound will fetch lesser returns compared to the past.
  • Export dominated countries may be affected, whether exporting to the UK or not. If the UK is the major trading partner, the effect will be more.
  • The United States will bear the major brunt of a Brexit being the UK’s biggest trading partner.
  • A direct impact on Asian economies from Brexit is unlikely in the long termbecause as a percentage of GDP, exports to the UK is less than 2% for most economies.
  • But businesses in some major Asian economies – like India and Japan- will be hit. Companies which have set up operations in the UK to gain access to EU markets will be affected.
  • BREXIT would likely allow any US Dollar strength to play out. This may cause other currencies to decline in value.
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