Unexpectedly, British decides to exit EU with 52% vote to leave and 48% to remain. Though the difference of leave and remain vote is only 4% but this result of referendum clearly scripts the new UK or Little UK that world will see after terms of Lisbon Treaty are worked upon which will take at least 2 years.
UK Joined EU in 1973 in an anticipation that it will strengthen UK Economically, Politically ad Strategically. But over the period of time, its membership in the EU has been in question by Political wing, social activists’ wing because of negative impact of membership on UK’s economy, laws and strategic arena.
Economically: UK funding, immigration and employment are the points of consideration in deciding for exiting EU. UK invests billions of pounds in supporting EU activities in Science and technology research, small business loans, preserving culture and giving asylum education. Freedom of movement clause of EU is putting burden over UK’s resources as people from poorer member countries of EU migrate to UK for livelihood. EU regulations and immigrants also curtail employment opportunities for UK natives.
17 % of UK laws are the result of its membership in the EU ( source: House of Commons library study, 2010). Laws related to agriculture, fishing, environmental policies and trade, criminal justice and human rights; all have their strings attached with EU laws and discussion panel which somehow makes UK dependent and undermines sovereignty of UK.
Economically, UK may slip into recession as EU was its largest trading partner and GDP of UK may slow down considerably. Many migrants may be deported as free movement clause of EU doesn’t hold any significance . Northern Ireland and Scotland may leave UK by referendum as they voted to remain in EU. So UK may not be United Kingdom anymore.
UK leaving EU will impact India economically too. Indian Currency devaluation may occur against dollars as investors will head to safe havens in form of US markets. Indian companies which have been operating on EU law as in UK will have to negotiate new rules and regulations. EU Has been the largest trading partner of India that too positive trade surplus but it will be affected because of uncertain times in the relationship of UK and EU. Higher education may get costly for Indian students. FTA with EU which has been in contention may take time to materialise because of separate regulations of EU and UK.
Globally other members of EU may think of splitting from EU. EU and USA are two major exporting destinations of emerging economies like India and China and any certainty in EU will trigger unfavourable effect on export market of emerging economies. Higher dollar value will also hit manufacturing sector of US which is already undergoing weak growth momentum.
It will take 2 years for UK to exit EU as per Lisbon treaty. There is a possibility that all the negative impacts talked above can be minimised with proactive efforts of leaders of UK and EU . We hope that future negotiations events will lead to win win situation for UK, EU and world at large. It is a crucial period for UK to steer the ship safely back to the shore. Collective and inclusive efforts from EU & UK are required to make this happen.
Sunil Kumar Awasthi
Faculty, North East Institute of Advanced Studies