Brexit – ‘Divided’ Kingdom leaves EU (European Union)
The United Kingdom opted for a momentous change of course by voting to leave the European Union in a closely-fought referendum held on Thursday, 23rd June 2016. The ‘Leave’ side won decisively with 52 per cent of the vote in the high-turnout vote. Britain has voted to leave the European Union to take greater control of its economy and its borders, shattering the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II.
The decision launches what will be years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with the E.U., which will shrink to a 27-nation bloc.
‘Leave’ supporters wave Union flags, following the result of the E.U. referendum, outside Downing Street in London on Friday.
Q.What’s U.K.’s history with the EU?
European Union was originally formed with six nations in 1957. Today, it is a gigantic transnational entity of 28 countries, including the U.K., which joined only in 1973. Though part of EU, Britain has traditionally had a ‘eurosceptic’ stand. It continues to use the Pound as its currency, while most EU nations have moved to Euro. Neither does it participate in the Schengen border-free zone, which allows passport-free travel in EU.
Q.Why do some in Britain want to leave the EU?
Many people in Britain believe that EU is making inroads into British sovereignty. Many in the ruling Conservative Party and the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) believe that the EU has changed since the time it was formed and that it was impacting daily life.
Some key issues are:
As EU’s membership expanded, more Europeans, especially from poorer EU nations, started migrating to U.K. using the “freedom of movement” clause.
After Brexit this will not happen ;p Britain will tight our immigration regulations.
The Remain side argues that in the era of international terrorism and criminality, cooperating with the EU will make the U.K. safer, while the other side says that the security risk will in fact increase if the U.K. does not have control over its borders.
The Remain side argues that as three million jobs are tied to the EU there could be a jobs crisis if the U.K. leaves the EU; Brexiteers claim that there will be a jobs boom without the fetters that EU regulations impose.
The Leave side says that the, EU needs British markets and individual trade deals with European countries can be easily negotiated.
Remain argues that leaving the EU will put the dominance of London, the Europe’s financial centre, at risk as banks will move out, whereas the Brexiteers argue that London’s status is unassailable as it is already a global power base.
Q.What if U.K. citizens choose to stay with EU?
This could boost the image of Mr. Cameron. But, the vote will not substantially change the dynamics of U.K. with EU. However, EU can heave a sigh of relief.
Q.How will this referendum affect the EU?
Much of the EU’s money comes from its member states. And the UK is one of the larger contributors.
The money is spent on administration of the EU in each member country, aid activities outside the EU, grants for asylum, education and culture, on preserving and managing natural resources,helping poorer countries in Europe and in grants to research in science and technology and in helping small businesses.
Q.Why should India worry about it?
The first concerns the welfare of a nearly three-million strong diaspora of Indian-origin U.K. citizens, while the second concerns the interests of a large moving population of Indians who come to Britain ever year as tourists, business people, professionals, students, spouses, parents and relatives.
There are 800 Indian companies in the UK — more than the combined number in the rest of Europe. Britain’s exit from EU may affect Indian companies’ appetite for investing in the U.K., particularly those seeking access to the European market.
“The process will take about two years, after which Britain will be under its own laws and can seek to tighten immigration regulations.”
Source : The Hindu
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