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

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Brexit Offers No Particular Spoils for India

Abhijit Sarkar makes two claims in "Spoils of Brexit for India" (EPW, 13 August 2016): British voters ignored the interests of non-British Commonwealth residents in the European Union referendum, and that the outcome of the referendum will benefit India. The second claim is questionable, and is based on little evidence. The first, meanwhile, relies upon unsubstantiated assertions and unscientific experimentation, but nevertheless raises interesting questions about legitimate democratic participation.

The United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to vote to leave the European Union (EU) has generated heated debate. Abhijit Sarkar’s article, “Spoils of Brexit for India” (EPW, 13 August 2016), attempts to provide a novel account that challenges the predominantly negative narratives surrounding Brexit (which means Britain’s exit from the EU).

Pessimism has been the overwhelming international response to Brexit. The International Monetary Fund (IMF 2016a) downgraded its growth forecast for India, as did some investment banks (Nomura 2016). India’s business community anticipated difficulties ahead (FICCI 2016), and Raghuram Rajan, the then Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was forced to reassure markets that the RBI would act where necessary (Indian Express 2016). They did not immediately identify reasons for celebration.

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