ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Europe after Britain's Departure

Britain's vote to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016 will no doubt form the subject of books, doctoral theses and articles for years to come. Like 9/11 which witnessed planes crashing into the World Trade Centre in the US, the dropping of bombs on 6 August 1945 on Japan, and even the storming of the Bastille by the French on 14 July 1789, the day the British made this historical decision is a richly symbolic date.

Freedom of Movement Restricted

The intransigence of the European Union with respect to freedom of movement of people now lies exposed as morally and ethically hollow in the light of its conduct with India. The same insistent EU refuses to actively apply similar rules of the game of free movement of people in the global arena, which raises the question of solidarity and principled conduct.

The Big Exit and Its Global Bricolage

The overall ramifications of Brexit are broadly reminiscent of the fault lines of culture and politics that marked Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations. An examination of the effect and quality of the existence of the liberal democratic state vis-Ã -vis the cultural geography of the world.

Fall of Market Democracy in Europe

With the exit of Britain from the European Union, this ambitious supranational project now faces a seemingly intractable political crisis and a debate has ensued over the legitimacy of the union as a whole. As the sovereign debt crisis unfolded in Europe, neo-liberal economists and politicians offered to solve the problem by cutting back spending. But, advocating cutbacks according to the principles of market democracy created further political and constitutional risks in Europe.

Can Income Transfers Help Explain Brexit?

Notwithstanding the conventional narratives of the anti-immigrant sentiments holding sway during the referendum for Brexit, an empirical investigation of the possible factors leading to Brexit does not show any signifi cant correlation between the share of migrants from European Union countries and the regions that voted for Brexit. Share of social security transfers in income was most important in determining if a region voted leave. Decreased employment opportunities and increased hardships that necessitate reliance on welfare payments could have fuelled the anti-immigrant and anti-European sentiment.

Loser's Poker

The Brexit decision has been an act of self-marginalisation by Britain, with an anti-immigrant stance having driven Brexit. Economically and politically, this catastrophe may involve rethinking of the need for union among the different components making up the United Kingdom. The purveyors of Brexit were playing a game of loser's poker, which they have won. They have achieved Brexit and potentially destroyed a nation, now in a state of extremely high institutional disruption.

Spoils of Brexit for India

Following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union as a result of the recent referendum, Indian big capital is dismayed in anticipation of the contraction of the monolithic EU market. However, the focus must veer from the losses for big business to the gains for the average Indian. The pound's depreciation in the aftermath of Brexit can be helpful in combating domestic inflation in India. To some extent, Brexit is likely to put a brake on capital exodus and on brain drain from India to the UK. It would also mean cheaper and unrestrained arms trade between India and the UK. It makes the EU less weighty as a cohesive politico-economic bloc, thereby reducing its pooled leverage against India.

Britain's Global Chickens Coming Home to Roost?

The British political establishment has juggled to keep three balls in the air: an internationalised economy, international politics and internal cohesion. Every now and then a political party may drop one and trigger a national crisis. This time around it appears that all the three may have been dropped at the same time. National debt, war, austerity, falling wages and regional disparities were issues central to the leave or remain decisions. They were overtaken by one single issue: immigration.
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