Written by Major Mohammad Akther Hossain (Retd)
The word ‘BREXIT” is a combination of word ’British’ and word ‘Exit” where “BR” comes from word ‘British’ and the word ‘EXIT’ is added to it. It means to a hypothetical withdrawal of British from Euro zone or shorthand way of saying that the UK is leaving from the EU. However, the term Brexit may have first been used in reference to a possible UK withdrawal from the EU by Peter Wilding, in a Euractiv blog post on 15 May 2012; this is given as the first attestation in the Oxford English Dictionary.1 It is a similar way of expression of ‘Grexit’ in the past when Greek exited from Euro... ...
Going back to the event of UK referendum which took place on 23rd June 2016 where everyone of voting age of UK, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland has an opportunity to decide whether the UK should 'Remain' or 'Leave' the EU. Almost 72% of the citizen amounting nearly 30 million people took part in the said referendum. England voted for Brexit in favor of ‘Leave’ to ‘Remain’ by 54% to 46%, Wales 53% to 47%, Scotland and Northern Ireland both back staying in the EU. Scotland backed ‘Remain’ by 62% while Northern Ireland backed for ‘Remain’ to 55%. Thereby, in general, it is to be said that the UK has voted to leave the EU. Basing on this decision of referendum, UK is scheduled to depart at 11 p.m. (UK time) on 29th March 2019 from EU finally.
To materialize the withdrawal of UK from EU, 'the UK and EU have provisionally agreed on the three "divorce" issues of how much the UK owes the EU, what happens to the Northern Ireland border and what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK2. While formulating the withdrawal process, both sides have agreed to have 21-months transitional period starting from 29th March 2019 till 31st December 2020 to get everything in place and allow business and others to prepare for the moment when new post-Brexit rules between UK and EU begin. It also allows more time for the details of the new relationship to workout. Free movement will continue during the transition period, as the EU wanted. The UK will be able to strike its own trade deals - although they won't be able to come into force until 1 January 20213. The divorce between the UK and EU will be in accordance of the Treaty Article-50. No EU member, earlier, tested this Article-50 as none withdrew from the EU yet.
With the above short history, it's clear that UK is now set on a path towards leaving the EU. Though the divorce is being finalized, questions remain in the minds of the citizens and many government leaders, why Brexit has to be executed and why it has to be now after being coupling almost 40 years with the EU, or what can happen once the divorce is completed? So far, days are passing by and nearing to the final day, more questions are arising at both 'Remain' and 'Leave' voters about the uncertainty of the effects. Many voters who opted to 'leave' now actually thinking that they didn't know much about the consequences of such divorce. Again, those who opted to 'remain' are now more forceful not to execute the divorce from the EU. On the other hand, government is also not in a position to ratify the decision of the majority of the people. It is a real truth that, there would be many more complexities arise both local, regional and global atmosphere in terms of UK's global power, inter-state relationship, trade-relationship and so on. The answers of such queries are not just one. It has long descriptions and explanation behind such mass decision to leave the EU. To delve out the queries, we will start searching its pro and corn starting from the inception of EU, so that we can chronologically come to a deduction why all these transformation took place and what would be its aftermath over the changing Europe in particular, and globe in general.
Thereby, the scope of this paper has been set to deal with as follows:
a. Creation of European Union (EU) and Incorporation of the UK
b. UK’s Euroscepticism
c. Why UK Voted for Leave EU
d. Probable Effects and Impacts of Brexit
e. Post Brexit Bi-lateral Relationship
f. Procedure for Leaving the EU
g. Brexit Withdrawal Negotiation and Update
h. What Will Happen if There is 'No Deal' Agreed on Brexit by 2018
i. Possibility of Reverting 'Article-50' or Second EU referendum for Brexit
CREATION OF EUROPEAN UNION (EU) AND INCORPORATION OF THE UK
After the WW2, the European Union (EU) was created with 28 European countries with a concept to foster economic and political partnership where countries can make trade together, avoid war with each other and create a ‘single market4’ allowing goods and people to move freely with the ideology of single currency, single parliament including sets of rules on environment, transport, consumer rights and unique communication system. The idea of formation of EU, was to dwell in peace, in safety and fredom under some kind of United States of Europe.
The early history of the EU is traditionally based when ‘Inner Six’ countries like France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and West Germany, established ‘the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)’ in 1951, ‘European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958 and European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) in 1958. Thereafter, in 1967, the European Community (EC) was created to govern these three, ECSC, EEC, and EAEC respectively. In 1979, EC held its first election where members signed the Single European Act (SEA) and provided the basis for the formation of a future single market concept and set the rules for the European Political Cooperation. In 1st November 1993, through ‘Maastricht Treaty’ signed, led to formation of EU reflecting the evolution of the organization from an economic union into a political union along with the creation of own European currency named ‘Euro’. Since 1990s and onward, more countries joined and by 2013, the total numbers of member countries became 28. Croatia is the last country to join with the EU.
Though Wiston Churchil supported in principle but Britain stood on the sidelines and declined the invitation to join six foundating nations of the European Economic Community in signing the Treaty of Rome in 19575. The reason for declination of the invitation by Britain was never clear but may be assumed that they thought that they could maintain the illusion of price of victory what they have without changes. Later, when British saw that their post-war economy is in a rut but France and Germany together under EC were recovering fast post-war deficit under the recently created powerful allaiance, European Community, then, the British applied to join in EEC in 1961. Britain also quickly envisaged that there was a danger of political isolation within Western Europe because the Commonwealth States had been rushing to do deals with the newly created EC bloc and it had support from USA. But President of France, Charles de Gaulle, has been giving veto everytime against UK’s application to join in EEC. The reason that French President accused Britain of a deep-seated hostility towards European construction and of being more interested in links with the USA6. Later, with the relinquishment of the French Presidency, the UK successfully applied for membership and became the member of EEC in 1st January 1973 with Denmark and Ireland.
Though UK became the member of the EC in 1973 but from the inception, the UK’s relationship with the EU has long been a fraught, creating tension with European partners and dividing the main political parties. Thus, since 1974, there was always a dilemma whether the UK would remain in EC or leave forever. In 1975, Harold Wilson wanted to renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership and he then held a referendum to judge the opinion of the country in favor of 'Leave' or 'Remain' with the EC. But interestingly, result shows to 'Remain' with EC despite significant division within the ruling party and major political divisions between political parties. But debate didnt stop as the status of the UK economy didnt bring any changes, rather economic fillip, power cuts and oil prices rise had been continuing. Thereby, Europe became a toxic issue in British politics and it created division between parties and as well as division within the parties7. With such situation, the idea of ‘leaving’ and ‘remaining’ in EC started floating till date. Some of the political parties thought that the better future of the UK lies with the bondage of EC and some argues that the UK would be better when it is out of EC. In 1980, when socialist Jacques Delors of Brussels had taken the helm at the EC and trying to steer towars more federal Europe with a single currency concept, a visible division was noticed between Britain and Brussels.
In 1984, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pointed out that the UK receiving less contribution in terms of 'Rebate' than that of France, especially in the agricultural sector due to European Super-State exercise of dominance by Brussels. This allegation of unitary dominance of Brussels actually created the sense of seminal text of Eurosceptics. 'Black Wednesday'8 was one of the lowest points in Britain's relationship with Europe. After failing to fend off intense currency speculation, Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont was forced to announce Britain's withdrawal from the Exchange Rate Mechanism on 16 September, 19929. Aside from introducing the sigle currency, Europe’s march towards political union led the Masstricht Treaty in 1992 reflecting the evolution of the organization from an economic union into a political union, actually involved huge transfer of power to the new EU including undermining the British tradition of the inviolable sovereighnty of parliament.
In 1993, a Eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party named ‘The UK Independence Party (UKIP)’ was formed. Its agenda was to promote British unionist and nationalism and opposition to growing Welsh and Scottish nationalisms. Political scientists characterize UKIP as part of a broader European radical right and their primary focus has been always on Euroscepticism calling for the UK’s exit from EU. Due to its Euroscepticism characteristics, UKIP got popularity and achieved third, second and first position in 2004, 2009 and 2014 respectively in the UK during European Election. UKIP’s electoral success in the 2014 European Election has been actually documented as the strongest correlate of the support for the leave campaign in the 2016 referendum10. The growing success of UKIP in the European Election, and winning two by-elections in 2014 in UK local elections, the ‘Ofcom’11, awarded UKIP as a ‘major’ political party status in March 2014.
During the era of Tony Blair in 1997, he patched up things with Europe and signed up a social chapter, delivering some of the social protections long coveted on the left and settling his sights on the Euro. But Tony Blair’s such steps fuelled more Eurosceptism through Conservative party and the people at large.
Meanwhile in 2010, due to the sovereignty crisis in many of the European countries, the EC proposed and decided to amend ‘EU treaty’ on functioning of the EU to allow and deal with the sovereign debt crisis that first emerged in Greece, later spread to Ireland and Portugal and generally affected the entire euro area. The amendment illusttrates, "The Member States whose currency is the Euro may establish a stability mechanism to be activated if indispensible to safeguard the stability of the Euro area as a whole. The granting of any required financial assistance under mechanism will be made subject to strict conditionality"12. Most importantly, the formulation adopted by the EC expressed a preference for a crisis mechanism to be established by the member states of the euro area rather than by the EU itself. It is to be noted here that, UK never introduced Euro in her financial exchange mechanism and it was not in euro zone area as well. On the new budget rules i.e. amenmend of ‘EU treaty or Lisbon Treaty’, Prime Minister, David Cameron demanded concessions on, and exemptions from, EU financial markets regulation. He also wanted that, 'the euro zone countries to come together and solve their problems. Britain should only allow that to happen within the EU treaties if there are proper protections for the single market and for other key British interests. Britain didn’t want to comply treaty within treaty without safeguards of British interests'13. He further emphasized that Britain must have been given the guarantee that no decision would be taken that would disadvantage those nations outside the euro zone or disadvantage the financial services sector in the UK. According to British Prime Minister, if euro zone countries want to use the “Institutions of Europe” to rescue the single currency, they must have to support a number of British safeguards in return. Cameron demanded that any transfer of power from national regulators to an EU regulator on financial services be subject to a veto. He also argued that non-EU institutions operating in the City but not in the euro zone, such as American Banks, should be exempt from EU regulation14. Prime Minister Cameron also explained that agreeing with the changing version of ‘EU Treaty or Lisbon Treaty’ that would mean to giving up more national sovereignty. French President Nicolas Sarkozy did not agree with the proposal given by David Cameron saying “Mr. Cameron had made "unacceptable" demands. And he said, 'We were not able to accept [the British demands] because we consider quite the contrary - that a very large and substantial amount of the problems we are facing around the world are a result of lack of regulation of financial services and therefore can't have a waiver for the United Kingdom15.
The other member States of EU also very vocal against David Cameron’s negotiation proposal and accused Cameron of placing Britain’s perceived interests rather than resolving EU’s present worst crisis. With such disagreement situation between the EU and the UK, the leaders of 23 countries agreed to sanction extra 200bn Euro by the Central Bank in euro zone as well as others as a bilateral loans to IMF to boost the debt crisis against bailout funds. Then, David cameron put a veto on the pact. The veto was very unexpected and was being presumed as a watershed in British fractious relationship with rest of Europe. EU leaders promptly agreed to bypass Britain and establish a new accord on the euro among them by March. The EU appeared poised to line up 26-1 against Cameron in support of the Franco-German blueprint, leaving Britain utterly isolated16. The political parties in UK were divided over Europe again between ‘Leave’ or ‘Stay’. The imposition of veto by the Prime Minister David cameron delighted Eurosceptics and encouraged them.
When the General Election of UK was scheduled in 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to reform, make renegotiation with EU and announced a referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU before the end of 2017 if elected in the upcoming general election. In fact, referendum on British membership in EU is considered as a most poisonous political issue which has come back in the centre stage before the general election of UK in 2014.
All major political parties such as Eurosceptic Conservative and Labor politicians were involved in official voting campaign with their manifesto ‘Vote Leave’ and UKIP was affiliated with the ‘Leave EU’ campaign slogan. The manifesto ‘Leave EU’ of UKIP characterized as negative impact of immigration on local communities and public services. Thereby, a month before the election, this campaign of UKIP to ‘Leave EU’ seemed to be losing steam whereas Conservative Party’s ‘Vote Leave’ got much more attention by many including few MPs of UKIP itself. The Conservative Party won the General Election with a majority and UKIP received only 12.6% of the total vote and held one of the two seats won in 2014. The party that birthed Brexit has sunk into total oblivion.
Soon after the Election, EU Referendum Act 2015 (EURA 2015) was introduced into the Parliament to enable the non-binding referendum for UK, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar to decide whether to leave the EU or remain within the EU as a member State. British Prime Minister, David Cameron gave his personal opinion that the UK should remain with the EU with a renegotiated points on: 'protection of the single market for non-euro zone countries, restricting EU immigrations'17, exempting Britain from ‘ever-closer union’ and reduction of ‘Red Card’. Basing on British Prime Minister’s proposal, an ‘Opinion Polls’ was considered with the condition that adequate safeguards for non-euro zone member states and restrictions on benefits for the EU citizens must be ensured. Thus, an ‘Opinion Polls’ was held in December 2015 which clearly shows the majority inclined in favor of remaining with EU upon fulfilling the given conditions by David Cameron.
As per the election manifesto proposed by David Cameron before the general election in 2014, and result based on the ‘Opinion Poll’ in 2015, he started renegotiation with the EU where Cameron has hinted that he wants to push for treaty changes, despite vetoing those suggested by the EU in 2011 in response to the euro zone crisis. He put forward proposals in a letter to EC President Donald Tusk in November 2015, requesting reform covering four key areas: economic governance, sovereignty, competitiveness and immigration. Tusk then prepared a draft agreement that was circulated to the 27 other EU leaders in February 2016 and the draft underwent a series of revisions leading up a summit of the EU leaders on February 18-19. The package was agreed by the President of the EC Donald Tusk, and approved by the EU leaders of all 27 other countries at the EC session in Brussels on 18–19 February 2016 between the UK and the rest of the EU18.
The outcome of the renegotiation was announced in February 2016, But the changes and the approvals of the proposals of the renegotiation results would take effect following a referendum by the citizen of the UK whether the UK continues membership of the EU or not, as decided earlier. A summary of the renegotiation as compared to the UK demands are listed as below:
While addressing the House of Commons on 22 February 2016, David Cameron announced a referendum date on 23 June 2016 but also commented that if the ‘Leave Vote’ wins over “Remain’ vote, it would trigger the Article 5019 and there would be only two-years time to negotiate the arrangements for exit from the EU. David Cameron also warns that if the ‘Leave Vote’ wins over the ‘Remain Vote’, he would ultimately resign from his Premier post of the UK. David Cameron and his party won the general election and Cameron remained as Prime Minister of the UK.
WHY UK VOTED FOR LEAVE EU
In spite of successful ‘Opinion Poll’ (non-binding referendum on December 2015) and renegotiation that the EU agreed to accept the majority packages of the demands that David Cameron placed to the EU, still the result of the UK EU Referendum on 23 June 2016 was a victory for leaving the EU.
Now, the question is: why during ‘Opinion Poll’, majority of the people showed their willingness to stay with the EU under the condition of the UK's successful renegotiation, whereas, once the result of renegotiation was positive, but people opted for ‘Leave EU’ referendum? Do actually the voters who supported ‘Leave EU’ brand understood correctly the outcome and effects of leaving the EU? Or do these voters could read the benefits of if they would ‘Remain’ with the EU? The result provoked considerable debate as to the factors that contributed to the victory.
‘Leave EU’ was supported by almost 52% of total voters and 48% were in favor of ‘Remain’. It has been argued that the result was caused by differential voting patterns among younger, the older, white and black, poor and rich, Asian, and less educated voters. According to ‘Opinium’, 64% voters were from 18 to 24 years old, and 90% eligible voters were within the age group of 65 years. Older and less educated voters, majority of white voters, poor in income voters and self reported opposition in immigration voters voted for ‘Leave EU’. Leave campaigners' beliefs was that life in Britain with the EU is getting worse rather than better. The 'Leave' campaigners campaigned primarily on issues relating to sovereignty and migration whereas the ‘remain campaign’ focused on the economic impacts of leaving the EU. It has been argued that the 'Leave' brand was stronger and more effective than the 'Remain' brand. According to Mike Hind, a marketing professional, "The Britain Stronger in Europe brand was stillborn. On the basis of preparation, presentation and messaging, it deserved the kicking it got”. Additionally behavioral practitioner Warren Hatter argues that 'Leave' as a word places a lower cognitive load on observers than 'Remain'. The UKIP has campaigned for Britain's exit from the EU and half the Conservative Party's MPs, including Boris Johnson and five members of the then Cabinet joined in their call during the referendum campaign. A handful of Labor MPs and few of the Northern Ireland party 'the DUP' were also in favor of leaving.
Now, we will discuss various reasons and explanations in the following paragraphs, why those category of voters, knowing or unknowingly favored ‘Leave EU’ campaign a success.
THE GREAT MISCALCULATION
It is considered that great miscalculation on the EU renegotiation helped pave the way for voters to reject the EU membership. As we discussed above that the supporters who were in favor of 'Leave EU', primarily focused on issues relating to sovereignty and migration. On the other hand, the voters supporting ‘Remain’ had been focusing on the economic impacts. The debate on EU renegotiation bifurcated between the government’s dogged economic risks upon Brexit and the anti-EU camp’s relentless politicization of immigration. Thus, the EU’s inflexibility on the free movement of people principle played into the Leave camp’s hand by confirming the weakness of the government’s position over immigration negotiation within the EU. The in-work benefits arrangement (i.e. a phasing in of tax credits over four years for new EU migrants) during 'Re-Negotiation' was hardly something that could mobilize the masses as it is the number of new migrants not their access to benefits that exercised anti-EU voters.
Immigration was a near obsessive focus for public debate where they thought Cameron’s government couldn’t attain the objective as it showed very little achievement on the hyper-sensitive issue of immigration and EU free movement sustained. Thus, it failed to repair the broken politics of immigration and further widen the gap between the people and their political leaders. In response to voters’ fears that, pro-EU figures announced in the last days of campaigning that there could be new discussions on migrant quotas after a vote to ‘Remain’. The other political parties including the Scottish National Party (SNP) steadfastly refused to join this particular debate as it specifically sought to stay aloof from the Cameron deal. Thereby, the renegotiation also failed to unite cross-party support amongst the ‘Remain’ camp. ‘Leave EU’ voters symbolized that the UK demands was a set of conclusions by the EU leaders, especially, was dominated and bossed by Germany under Chancellor Merkel and indicated cosmetic position within the EU. This showed a fundamental misreading of the public mood. The February agreement codified the UK’s special status as never before, which from an EU perspective was quite an achievement20. But it came at the cost of self-marginalization in Brussels and did nothing to appease the EU antipathy amongst the UK voters. Such a precedent augurs badly for the negotiations on the UK formally withdrawing from the EU21.
What came out of the February European Council where the EU leaders debated the UK demands were been accepted burring amongst its dense legalese and was a commitment to protect countries not using the Euro from contributing to Euro zone bailouts and a reference stating that the UK was not legally bound by the “ever closer union principle”22. The Leave camp swatted these changes aside as simply not binding until there was actual treaty change23.
THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA
Mass media played a very vital roles to win the battle for public opinion during the campaign. Both 'Leave' and 'Remain' campaigners used classic strategy to communicate their messages to the voters. For example, the 'Leave' campaigners used "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) strategy where they tried to concentrate on a simple message like, 'Take Back Control' which was repeated at every opportunity24 etc. The message was easy to understand by all classes of people with various interpretations according to their merit of understandings. The messages were been sounded like a promise for an alternative future for the poor people compared to rich classes. The 'Leave' campaigners designed and used social media varieties of messages to specific targeted classes of audiences.
On the other hand, 'the 'Remain' campaigners failed to address their messages, concepts and narratives on the benefits of the EU membership which could motivate mass people both practical and emotional grounds25. Most conflicting was that both Labor Parties and Conservatives failed to coordinate the core key issues on their explanations and thus, at times, conflicted the same interpretations. It totally confused the mass people. The campaign for 'Remain' was not producing effectiveness, especially on the issues of immigration and the economic consequences of Brexit.
The immigration reporting by the media, particularly in the tabloid presses had tremendous negativity about immigrants sponging off the welfare state, bleeding the National Health Services (NHS) dry and most importantly that immigrants involved in criminality26. The whole negativity of immigrant issue also linked other core issues like the public deficit on economy etc. All these themes that media already influenced the people and primed them totally against referendum on 'Remain' attitudes. The 'Leave' campaigners could highlight and successfully establish danger of national sovereignty through immigration in effect. On the other hand, the' Remain' campaigners equally failed to build a positive effects through comprehensive narration for Europe parties. Therefore, even if Remain had consistently put forward arguments about the social and cultural and benefits of the EU membership they would have not resonated effectively because they lacked social currency27. Most of the UK’s biggest selling newspapers, such as ‘The Sun’, ‘The Daily Mail’, ‘The Daily Telegraph’, ‘The Daily Express’ even ‘The BBC’ were eurosceptic for many years. The reports, their in-depth analysis along with mixed data both correct or incorrect evaluations misguided many of the voters helped give the ‘Leave EU’ campaign credibility and influence the result of the referendum.
MISLEADING LOOSE INFORMATION
The Brexit campaign was one in which accuracy of evidence didn’t much matter. Politicians uttered outlandish claims, the media gleefully repeated them more often than it checked facts and even after many were debunked, voters happily embraced those that fit their preconceptions. Prior to the referendum, there were huge misleading information fed to the voters which ultimately affected the whole result of the referendum. For example, "Vote Leave' claimed that the UK's contribution to the EU is £350 million per week whereas ' the Treasury's own statement of the UK's contribution to the EU is that the net amount is £6.27 billion per annum. Divided by 52, this is approximately £120 million per week (net amount)28. Perhaps the most commonly criticized claim by the 'Leave' campaign was that voting to leave the EU would allow for increased spending on the NHS of £350m a week. Their presentational factors by 'Leave' campaigners during vote campaign was largely described as "dishonesty on an industrial scale" or some extents identified as exemplifying 'post-truth politics' which framed appeals to emotion rather than the details of policies or objective factual analysis. Thereby, Brexit is a lack of facts and data combined with anger about a changed society. This is why those who are older voted for Brexit, while those who are younger and managed to vote did so to 'Remain'. On the other hand, 'Remain' campaigners had 'made use of dodgy statistics'. The “Remain” campaign relied heavily on trying to scare people into voting for the status quo. Indeed, it was foolish of the Cameron government to allow the seemingly passive term “Remain” to define the potential future of the UK in Europe rather than asserting an active goal for building a better future. Hardly anyone in the “Remain” camp presented an idealistic argument for a European future. The “Leave” campaign had its own trouble bringing disparate protagonists together.
Another example against loose comments can be sited that, when President of the US Donald Trump stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to open her country's borders for refugees and illegal immigrants was a "catastrophic mistake" and "the final straw that broke the camel's back", allowing the Leave campaign to win. His statement prior to the referendum, for example at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia, where he also suggested that more countries would leave the EU because of Merkel's decision. Pro-Brexit party UKIP used images from the migrant crisis during their campaign, a decision that prompted criticism from some Leave and Remain supporters.
For a set of nation states to agree to cede the right to control who comes into their country and who is able to live and work in that country to their supra-national level is to cede a core aspect of national sovereignty. But one of the main principles of EU membership is "free movement". The EU law guarantees that citizens of one EU country have the right to travel, live, and take jobs in other EU countries. Thus, the EU rules require the UK to admit all the EU citizens who wants to move to Britain, whether or not they have good job prospects or English skills. The EU rule on 'free movement' which means you don't need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country. The border is free for any person of any EU country under the EU legislation. Thus, Immigration or migration has become a highly politicized issue in Britain. The intellectual case for Brexit is mostly focused on economics, but the emotional case for Brexit is heavily influenced by immigration. British people have increasingly felt the impact of this EU rule to allow any EU immigrants to travel, work and live since the 2008 have created financial crisis. They suffered the worst hangover from the economic crisis, and whose precarious economic position makes them most fearful of rising immigration.
Statistics say that, immigrants flow was flat in the year of 1991 till 2003 averaging close to 61000 per year. But during the EU legislation period, the UK absorbed 333,000 new people in 2015, 268000 new people in 2014 and 201000 new migrants in year 2013. There are basically two reasons for this. First, the EU starting expanding in 2004 to include mostly post-communist countries in central and Eastern Europe. These countries are poorer, which means that when they acceded to the EU, their citizens were more likely to move out of them to find work in richer countries such as the UK. Indeed, Poland is now the second-largest source of immigrants to the UK, just behind India. Second, the 2008 financial collapse and subsequent euro zone crisis as unemployment rose in those countries, their citizens started to look to other EU nations such as Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania etc have flocked to the UK in search of work for employment and opportunities. The British labor market was relatively easy to break into, and lots of people across Europe speak English, so it was a natural target for these southern Europeans. Thus undercut the native working population and also has depressed the wages of native-born British workers as well as it concerned British people about using scarce public services. The 'Leave' voters felt that this can’t all be laid at the EU’s feet. The EU played a major part, as its rules restrict the ability of member states to bar migration from other EU member states. It also resulted in the EU becoming inextricably linked with immigration in the minds of a lot of Brits. They weren’t used to mass immigration, but since joining the EU they’ve been getting a whole lot of it. And not all of Britain’s citizens, as it turns out, are happy about this state of affairs due to the impact of uncontrolled migration had on wages, access to housing, schools and health care. Thereby, it has been claimed that the role of migration as a key factor in driving voting behavior at the referendum originates from the relatively high levels of net migration into the UK in the last decade. Though the immigration crisis in Europe was argued by the EU leaders that aiding or supporting the refugees was a moral obligation but EU opponents saw immigration as a national issue, as it affected the internal life of the country. ‘Leave’ voters wanted Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to live and/or work. This is affecting the demographic picture of the nation as a whole in comparison to original British and migrants. The 'Leave' campaign also objected to the idea of "ever closer union" between EU member states because they see the moves towards the creation of a "United States of Europe". Brexit supporters simply want to reduce the amount of immigration and argue that the UK could have a more sensible immigration system if it didn’t have the strait jacket of the EU. Steering clear of this issue was an important driver for the “leave” vote. It is claimed that the decision not to impose restrictions on EU migrants contributed to a spike in migration levels that underpins contemporary voter attitudes.
Sovereignty of a nation has several dimensions or manifestations, relating to political decision-making, constitutional rights, the legal system, the protection of external borders, maintenance of internal security, the maintenance and use of military power, the regulation of finance by the state (fiscal policy, monetary policy, financial system regulatory policy) and cultural affinity and identity etc. Thus, the normal pattern is for a nation state to have its own national government and parliament, its own constitution and legal system, a geographical border and system of border controls, an internal police and security system, its own military, diplomatic corps and its own currency and monetary and fiscal system, including importantly the ability to tax its citizens and issue debt, and a set of national symbols and sense of shared identity and history. Over the past few decades, many of these fundamentals dimensions are shifted through a series of EU treaties from individual member states to the central EU bureaucracy in Brussels. The House of Commons Library says that between 1993 and 2014, a total of 231 Acts of Parliament were passed because of EU membership, 24 per cent of the total29. In 2010, the UK government estimated that about 50 per cent of the UK legislation with “significant economic impact” originates from the EU legislation. The EU rules override national laws and the EU has become the competent authority to approve on many of the issues.
The voters felt that the EU’s regulations have become increasingly onerous and sometimes simply ludicrous on very simple matters, for example, the rule that on recycle a teabag, someone can’t recycle it, or that children under eight cannot blow up balloons, or the limits on the power of vacuum cleaners or could do nothing to bring in better-designed cab windows for trucks or to stop cyclists being crushed. All these had to be done at a European level. If anyone does not abide by the European rules, other member countries oppose the trends. There are many policies like competition policy, agriculture, copyright, patent law etc deprives the UK own government to make any decision. They said Britain was being held back by the EU, which they said imposed too many rules on business and charged billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. Basing on such predominance, Brexit is all about the UK deciding to repatriate some, much or all of the sovereignty that it had previously practiced a political entity which rests on varying degrees of the pooling of the various aspects of sovereignty. The amount of sovereignty that the UK wishes to 'take back' is a decision for the British people to make, through their own democratic processes. Thereby, the vote was grounded in nostalgia and campaign was almost entirely negative and devoid of plans for an alternative future. It played on an old idea of sovereignty, old English ideas about the difference between the island nation and the mainland of Europe, alarm over immigrants and claims that the UK was somehow subsidizing Europe30. They wanted the UK to make all of its own laws rather than being created through shared decision making with other EU nations. Thereby, if Britain gets out of the EU, the UK can make any independent decisions that concerns the UK. But those who will have to live longest with the consequences wanted a different choice31.
RISE OF NATIONALISM
Nationalism flourishes precisely when people feel threatened by international forces. The ‘Leave EU’ voters considered that the EU doesn’t understand the power of nationalism. It attempts to retain nationality as a cultural right. Under the concept of sovereignty-sharing with the EU countries, a nation as an entity is an inherently unnatural and unsustainable configuration. Due to high numbers of immigration in the UK, the immigrants are also not respective to the original Britons and they don't bother to uphold the banners of national cultures as a traditions. Heterogeneous number of people mixed with many nationalists arrived from various EU countries really don’t make a patriotic nations and lack of serious nationalism altogether. At the root of this surge in anti-establishment sentiment is a feeling of fear, loss of control, and traditions and identity lost among those who are struggling economically. Immigration threatens the self-perceived uniqueness of the British people even more than in most other countries, simply because living apart on an island is an integral element of national identity. Only by leaving the EU can that sense of nationality be preserved. Brexit was manifestly a vote against multiculturalism and for English nationalism32 and appeals to sovereignty rooted in national identity. The nastiest part of the campaign was persistent fanning of anti-immigrant sentiment extending into racism and open religious bias33. British nationalism was anchored in the British Empire. There are more than a few today who imagine that somehow Brexit will restore Britain to its lost global prominence.
On the other hand, there’s a growing distrust of multinational financial and trade and especially on defense organizations which were created after World War II such as the EU, the IMF, and NATO etc. These no longer are serving a purpose for absolute nationhood. These organizations have taken control away from individual nationhood and put a question on individual security aspect of the state. According to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (2017 State of the Union speech), the Border and Coast Guard have only 1,700 officers compared with 100,000 national border guards. What sense does it make for the EU member states to operate as (largely) one state when it comes to freedom of movement within the EU and as (largely) separate states when it comes to protecting the EU’s external border?34 It is a sovereign choice of the nation states to make and maintain largely national internal security apparatuses, even arguably national defense systems, but it seems inconsistent with member states on the EU. Using data from the Euro barometer survey they showed that fewer Britons considered themselves European than any other EU nationality. Mistrust and fear of losing control made Brexit a reasonable solution to them.
POPULISM AND VERDICT AGAINST ELITES GROUP
Populism flourishes when people feel betrayed by elites. Brexit was a vote against the attitudes of the EU leaders and also British elites, to be more particular, vote against London, and vote against globalization and multiculturalism of Europe. Those who are ill-educated and not well-off, especially not linked to growing service industries, have voted to leave in Europe. The neglected suddenly discovered they could use their EU referendum vote to get back at those who had never listened to their grievances35. The vote was a heart-felt cry from millions of people who feel Westminster no longer knows, or even cares, how it feels to walk in their shoes36. A large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture37. The sources of their dignity, the dignity of labor, have been eroded and mocked by globalization, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites38. Many middle range capitalists faced inevitable economic disruption that favors those who are younger and more educated and disadvantages those who are older and less educated. 'Leave' voters thought politicians, business leaders, and intellectuals had lost their right to control the system. They thought the elite had contempt for their values, for their nationalism and interests. Technology and globalization have raised prosperity for far more people around the globe including right-wing Britons, but little has been done to address those, who are having economic difficulties. It was Britain’s poorer and less-educated citizens, angry at not having shared in the economic benefits of a new world order, who pushed it out of the EU, in a vote that threatens elites. Brexit is thought to be the belief that by leaving the EU, the UK will be more prosperous for those who are left out economically in today’s economy as since the 1970s inequality has grown sharply, and the middle and working classes of once-prosperous countries have seen living standards stagnate and economic security disappear.
London being one of the world’s single most important center of global finance and the world’s most cosmopolitan city, it voted overwhelmingly to 'remain' in the EU. Britain’s ruling classes were the only group who voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU39. The middle and upper classes - were the only group which had a majority voting to 'Remain' at the June 23 referendum40. Those without jobs, or retired, people who had lost out from globalization, or felt discomforted by immigration, voted 'Leave' because they felt they had little to lose from doing so.
POLITICAL ELITISM AND MISTRUST
During the referendum, the opinion of fight for 'Leave' and 'Remain' continued within three groups. Two established parties wanted to 'Remain' in the EU, and a third faction, drawn from both parties, opposed it. People in this third group saw both of the establishment parties as hostile to their interests. The “leave” voters rejected both the Conservative and Labor parties. Because both parties had endorsed remaining with the EU. The political parties felt frightened about financial markets upon Brexit. The elite political class’s intellectual arguments also failed to resonate with large segments of British society because they misread the country41. They apparently believed that the same arguments that appealed to the younger, wealthier urban classes in London and Scotland would be sufficient to convince the rest of Britain of the value of the EU42. In retrospect, they failed to fully appreciate the anger and frustrations of a huge swath of Britain: the old, the lower middle class, and the English outside of London who feel left behind by globalization, oppressed by immigration, and ignored by (and distrustful of) the elites43. Ultimately, it was a three-way struggle.
Finally, the political leadership of Britain faced a profound loss. What they did not grasp was the degree to which they had lost legitimacy in 2008. Most “leave” supporters believed that the financial industry’s recklessness and incompetence had created a disaster for many. Besides, they saw no benefit to themselves in the success of the financial industry. The majority of people in all the other income groups - described as C1, C2, D and E all voted to leave44. They mistrust political elites because up until then they haven’t seen any political parties who appear to recognize their discontent and respond to it. People of these group's thought that the decision to leave the EU would a “once in a in a lifetime chance” to reshape the UK “so that it genuinely would help them. In short, the people with little or nothing to lose, as they saw it, backed Leave45. The ones who had gained most from EU membership and globalization backed Remain46.
THE EU FACTOR
The EU has helped to create its own problems in many ways. The EU is deeply divided east/west and north/south. The EU has built a cumbersome insular bureaucracy and in the same time, it is considered as a job destroyer. At one time, the UK was very prosperous by its inherent business like spinning, weaving, hammering, and so many others including brass bands, giant vegetables championships etc. These all have changed due to the direct command and exercise of legal instruments over these all business by the EU. The poor who grew the grievances could use their anger about all kinds of things to change at least once by 'Leave EU.
It has played an important role in providing Europeans with an impressively high standard of living and thriving cultural institutions. But in the face of global financial crisis, it abandoned the idea of solidarity as its richer members sought to protect their national interests in isolation and not collectively. Instead of taking a political and flexible approach, the EU has taken an inflexible and technocratic one. For a long time, European leaders have blamed their failures on the EU rather than acknowledging their own incapacity to deal with difficult challenges like unemployment and immigration.
Many analysis that there are many common policies which are not easy to be agreed with the EU. The signal failure in this regard came with Europe’s inability to develop a common immigration policy. This started with an unwillingness to provide adequate support to Greece and Italy as they bore the brunt of new arrivals. It continued with a botched attempt to distribute refugees by national quotas. The failure continued to such a degree that some countries began to fortify internal European borders. If that really happens one by one someday, then, the individual State has to suffer much more than collectively.
The EU does not have the authority and power to collect funds through taxes. It receives annual contribution from the member states to rise central EU budget. Due to its independent financial capacity, it was unable to address the economical problems completely that had been developed out of euro crisis vis-a-vis global recession and thus created serious unemployment situation in Europe especially in euro zone area. The global recession that began in 2008 was bad around the world, but it was much worse in countries that had adopted Europe’s common currency, the euro. Even after eight years of global recession, many of the European countries under the EU, especially Spain and Greece are still having acute problems with employment. The 'Leave' voters thought, if equal situation arise in the UK, then, the EU is not going to be a strong platform for necessary solution rather it would share their contribution for some other State to rescue instead of the UK.
EU'S DYSFUNCTIONAL ECONOMIC & POLITICAL ENTITY
The ability of a nation state to issue its own currency and operate its fiscal affairs (taxing, spending and issuing debt) in that currency is a core aspect of sovereignty. Voters supporting 'Leave EU' argued that the EU is a fundamentally flawed political and economic entity, resting as it does on a selective and inconsistent sharing of sovereignty by 28 nation states. The EU didn’t create the financial relationships. Rather, the EU is a system that aligns with financial reality. The EU is designed to be a monetary union but not a fiscal union. The EU as a community is also a dysfunctional in both economic and political entity. By design, the EU divorces one half of that sovereign right, usually called “monetary policy”, from the other half, usually called “fiscal policy”, pooling sovereignty when it comes to the monetary half, but retaining sovereignty at the member state level when it comes to the fiscal half. This creates an inherently unnatural and therefore ultimately untenable and unsustainable configuration of sovereignty-sharing. The EU, being a monetary union, but not a fiscal union, creates a situation which is tantamount to members of the euro area issuing debt in a foreign currency, that is, a currency which they do not have the sovereign power to create (that power lies with the European Central Bank (ECB), leaving aside Emergency Lending Assistance) over which the ECB also has the final say. To many, this might seem to be a desirable, but, it creates an inherently dangerous situation for sovereign borrowers as government is not able to issue debt in its own currency.
Adding, the euro area, by design, imposes serious fiscal constraints on member states, hampering their ability to operate their own counter-cyclical fiscal policy. The euro area not being a fiscal union severely hampers its ability to engage in meaningful counter-cyclical fiscal policy, as by default, there is no single fiscal authority to do this. In theory, member states could coordinate fiscal policy expansions, but in practice, doing so sufficiently quickly and on a sustained enough basis is exceedingly difficult. The individual member state can hardly restore speedily lost aggregate demand in the wake of financial crisis. For example, consider a euro member that suffers from a sudden and large drop in aggregate demand (the condition faced by all euro area members in after the 2008 global financial crisis). The normal macroeconomic prescription in such a situation is to implement monetary and fiscal policy expansions sufficient to restore the lost aggregate demand, the monetary expansion in particular being likely to lead to a lower exchange rate. But a member of the euro area does not have its own monetary policy or exchange rate, and its ability to engage in a fiscal expansion is heavily constrained by rules and by the fact that any fiscal expansion has to be financed by issuing debt in what is in effect a “foreign” currency.
'Leave EU' Voters believe that deeper fiscal and political integration will be needed for the euro zone to work properly. Europe needs a common welfare and tax system so that countries facing particularly severe downturns like Greece and Spain, can get extra help from the center. But that makes Britain’s continued inclusion in the EU awkward. Britain is unlikely to go along with deeper fiscal integration, but it would also be unwieldy to create a set of new, parallel euro zone-specific institutions that excluded the UK. So, the argument goes, it might be better for everyone if the UK got out of the EU, clearing the path for the rest of the EU to evolve more quickly into a unified European state. There were many complaints about the EU as such. With its expensive bureaucracy, willful inefficiencies and dysfunctional politics, it has given more than a little justification to the frustration to remain with the EU. Voters assumptions were that Europe became stagnated economically and 'Remain' with the EU would never be a wise decision to solve British problems rather it would lead British to follow Europe's situation.
THE EUROZONE CRISIS
The single most important thing to understand about the eurozone is that group of 19 EU member states47 use the euro as their official currency is that it's primarily a political project, not an economic one48. ...'The political meaning of the eurozone and the European Project differs a bit from place to place. To France and Germany, it means the end of war. To Ireland, it means independence from the United Kingdom. To Finland and Latvia and other eastern states, it means independence from the Russian sphere of influence. For Spain and Portugal, it means the end of dictatorship and integration into the realm of democracies. For Greece, it means (unlike Turkey) certification as a real European country. These big political ideas are what drive the eurozone and the vast majority of mainstream European leaders. It's why these countries are willing to put up with a lot of pain to keep the eurozone alive. Everything beyond the survival of this dream — including the practical economics — is secondary49'. ...But the UK is not with Euro as currency, nor in Eurozone but integrated with the EU where the currency is Euro. Its single currency works very well for Germany and much less well for others. It seems to go from crisis to crisis. When the EU countries was under serious economical crisis, the EU made a treaty of stability mechanism only for EU's Eurozone countries but it was not applicable for others who is not using Euro as their currency like the UK. This treaty under a treat actually threatened the UK's interest. They wanted a consession and exeption from EU financial markets regulations. British wanted that the EU must give the guarantee that no decision would be taken that would disadvantage those nations outside the Euro zone like the UK or disadvantage the fianacial services sectors in the UK. The EU's changing version of Treaty within the treaty would allow to give up more national sovereignty. But the EU didnt respect UK's request nor interest. The EU, bypassing the UK, made the treaty.
The UK forsaw that this treaty actually would lose more sovereign control over monetary policy through ECB in Frankfurt. Because The ECB sets interest rates, controls the quantity of euros in circulation, and generally performs for its members the functions that the Federal Reserve does for the United States or the Bank of Japan does for Japan50. As an economic policy, this is an idea with some serious flaws. The eurozone is not what economists call an optimal currency area, its economies are too big and disparate51. If the economy is strong in the Netherlands but weak in Spain, it's difficult for Spanish people to simply move to Amsterdam, as they don't speak Dutch52. European countries maintain separate welfare states, and have very different average living standards. Consequently, economic conditions can be very different in one part of the eurozone than in another, making it difficult for the ECB to create policy that is appropriate everywhere53. The full details of Europe's economic problems are complicated, but the original source of the trouble is actually quite simple. The main tool modern countries use to recover from recession is monetary policy, but the nature of the eurozone is that when countries fell into recession they didn't have central banks of their own that could help promote recovery. Outsourcing monetary policy to the ECB in Frankfurt left Ireland, Portugal, Greece, and Spain defenseless against the 2008 recession.
The concept of the such Treaty that the EU formulated was one of the good reason why many of the elite and business minded magnets favored the 'Leave' vote against EU.
PROBABLE EFFECTS AND IMPACTS OF BREXIT
It took almost 10 years, after heavy collective political persuasion to obtain the membership of the EU in 1973. Once the UK became the member of the EU, it showed its significant changes both in higher GDP and also economical benefits in many areas. At times, it crosses the GDP per capita growth than that of Germany, Italy or France. On security, the enlargement of the EU to the former communist countries has renewed its post-war purpose of bringing peace to the continent. Moreover the UK has managed its role in the EU without sacrificing its relationship with the wider world.
The current Brexit has erased these collective efforts of the political persuasion as well as threaten the future security enlargement. The referendum reflected divisions within the UK society and within the generation also. Brexiters may talk about taking back control for the British people, of making Britain great again but they have embedded a form of politics that is anathema to constructing a national political community. They no longer have the politics to establish what a British collective good is, the EU today, Scotland and the welfare state tomorrow. Brexit is achieving precisely what the Eurosceptics have accused the EU of doing, bringing about the end of the UK. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU would mean unraveling all the rights and obligations from access to the Single Market, Custom Union, structural funds for poorer regions, to joint action on sanctions that the UK has acquired both during accession to the EU and over our 40 year membership.
Many things have to be negotiated by the UK while getting out from the EU block. These will have the multiple effects described in the following subsequent paragraphs, for example, on the UK economy, security system, all the EU laws in force in the UK, the status of the EU citizen in the UK or the UK citizen in the EU, EU nationals with a British state pension, their passport status, status of Scotland or Northern Ireland or the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus or Gibraltar, 'Divorce Bill', the pensions, savings or mortgages settlements, the EHIC card for the citizen at both end, status of the protected species, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership etc, and these all will have impact on both the EU and on the UK long term political influence, Economic and cultural globalization, poverty reduction and peace and so on. If the Brexit negotiations fail to reach a conclusion that preserves the close association between the island and the continent, the costs will be felt more widely as well. In the prospect of future of globalization and democracy, thus, Brexit negotiations must have sagaciousness and far-sighted able leadership from multilateral institutions, so that it could go a long way toward steering the process toward a successful conclusion.
EFFECT ON ECONOMY
It is very difficult and hard to do economic analysis of future UK right at this juncture, when there are so many unknown factors involved in it. Supporters of 'Remain' argued that being UK in the EU, gives her a strong positive effect on trade. On the other hand, supporters of 'Leave' argued that cessation from the EU would allow the UK to cut taxes which could be spent on government spending for the people of the UK. A 2017 survey of the existing academic literature found "the research literature displays a broad consensus that in the long run Brexit will make the United Kingdom poorer because it will create new barriers to trade, foreign direct investment, and immigration54. The harder the Brexit the faster the UK economy will decouple from the European one55. A 'Hard Brexit'56 would mean the exchange rate would take the strain, the country would become super-competitive, would push down trade with Europe, would have meant losing open access to a huge market and would also lead the UK to follow the WTO57 rules . On the other hand, the positive side is that it will have a focus on faster-growing open markets but slowly oriented. Brexit will have effect also on cross-border trade as it will introduce tariffs and 'behind-the-border' non tariffs (NTBs) barriers due to cancellation of the EU membership. As the UK will lose its EU membership, thus, Brexit will implies the reverse processing of existing EU integration agreement for which negotiation could lead to a new bilateral treaty based on measurable trade-cost-reducing effects of existing deep, or more shallow EU trade agreements. This will lead a higher trade costs, such as NTBs or tariffs, increase the price of UK exports to EU27 states and vice versa. This may cause trade destruction and trade diversion such that trade between the UK or the EU27. As a result, it can be said that Brexit is definitely more expensive for the UK than for the average EU27 country.
Regarding the regional equity of the UK, it has a larger degree of regional inequality than any other major countries. A study found that almost all UK regions are systematically more vulnerable to Brexit than regions in any other country. Due to their longstanding trade integration with the UK, Irish regions have levels of Brexit exposure, which are similar to those of the UK regions with the lowest levels of exposure, namely London and northern parts of Scotland. Meanwhile, the other most risk-exposed EU regions are all in southern Germany, with levels of risk which are typically half that of any UK or Irish region, and one third of that displayed by many UK regions. There is also a very noticeable economic geography logic to the levels of exposure with north-western European regions typically being the most exposed to Brexit, while regions in southern and eastern Europe are barely affected at all by Brexit, at least in terms of the trade linkages. Overall, the UK is far more exposed to Brexit risks than the rest of the EU.
The other effects can be summarized as below:
a. There could be an adverse impact on sectors which have a significant level of dependence on EU-funded activities. Thereby, it is likely that, Britain’s economy would grow more slowly outside the EU than if it stayed in58. The sector of Higher Education could lose access to EU funds for research, mobility and strategic collaboration resulting in a serious erosion of the UK’s science and innovation base.
b. Material slowdown could result after a Brexit. And the economy could go into a two-quarter contraction59.
c. The fall in sterling, could help exporters although demand in many countries around the world remains weak60.
d. The main driver of the UK's global attractiveness is the UK's cultural and creative industries. The soft power will be reduced if the Brexit impacts adversely on this sector and its reputation. World leaders from the US, Japan, Germany and France have warned Britain that leaving the EU would hurt its standing as a global trading power61.
e. The UK is by far the biggest recipient of foreign investment in the EU. Almost half (46% in 2013) of the FDI stock in the UK originates from the EU. The future of this is now uncertain62.
f. The position of London as Europe’s biggest international financial centre is unlikely to change overnight. However, the loss of EU market access via passporting would have a significant impact on the UK financial services sector and the associated tax revenues63. Moreover, if some of the above issues materialize then critical mass in the industry could be gradually lost, harming its current status64. At present, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and its associated staffs are located in London. This allows London to have the clearing of Euro-dominated trades to Eurozone. Once, Brexit would take place, the staffs and office of the EBA will need to be relocated elsewhere out of London, the City of London would loss few thousand jobs and many new office buildings under construction including the running structures would be empty.
g. The greatest problem experts foresee the UK will face in response to leaving the EU is diminished domestic economic growth65. Further, exit fees could ultimately cost £60 billion over the next two years because the UK signed up for the EU budget when it became a member, which is spread out of seven years (ending in 2020)66.
h. As one-third of the UK's food come from the EU, thereby, it might happen that the price would rise on the imported goods due to higher import price and introduction of tariffs. Thereby, British companies would face higher-costing and less competitive. This will lower the standard of UK residents. Moreover, due to customs delay, Britain could experience food shortages as well.
i. The UK will lose the advantages of EU’s state-of-the-art technologies, which the EU grants those to its members in environmental protection, research and development, and energy. Aside from such benefits, the UK companies will lose the ability to bid on public contracts in any EU country, as these are open to bidders from any member country. Practitioners will lose the ability to operate in all member countries. This could also raise the cost of airfares, the internet, and even phone services.
j. Brexit will hurt Britain's younger workers. For example, Germany is projected to have a labor shortage of two million workers by 2030. Those jobs will no longer be as readily available to the UK's workers after Brexit.
To summarize some of the impacts and effects of Brexit as below:
a. The Pound will be weaker for exports to the UK. The manufacturing sector is particularly interwoven with the British economy and more vulnerable to exchange rate volatility. Brexit might strengthen the US dollar while simultaneously weakening the euro and the British pound.
b. As Brexit could actually reroute investments to continental Europe, either through repatriations or new investments from non-EU countries which took the UK as an entrance point to the European Single Market, thereby, trade seem to be decreased with the Brexit process (no matter whether it would be Hard or No deal or soft deal) with the UK, the income of people associated with it would also fall, leading to a decrease in private consumption. There would also be less demand from exporters for products and services further down the supply chain.
EFFECT ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND ACADEMIC RESEARCH
According to a 2016 study by Ken Mayhew, Emeritus Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Oxford University, Brexit poses the following threats to higher education: "loss of research funding from EU sources; loss of students from other EU countries; the impact on the ability of the sector to hire academic staff from EU countries; and the impact on the ability of UK students to study abroad."
The UK received more from the EU for research than it contributed with universities getting just over 10% of their research income from the EU. All funding for net beneficiaries from the EU, including universities, was guaranteed by the government in August 2016. Before the funding announcement, a newspaper investigation reported that some research projects were reluctant to include British researchers due to uncertainties over funding. Currently the UK is part of the European Research Area and the UK is likely to wish to remain an associated member.
EFFECTS ON IMMIGRATION
Immigration issue was cited as the second-most important reason for those voting to 'Leave' EU. The 'Leave' voters felt that over-crowd immigration was causing a fall to living standard, social services, congestion, local job-takers etc. They felt that, these immigrants were pushing the Britons out of the works especially in periods of high unemployment. Thereby, when the result of referendum got in favor of 'Leave' EU, many Europeans started leaving the UK, and it was nearly more than double the Conservatives target of "tens of thousands a year", though the UK still not left the EU. The exodus is most marked among eastern Europeans. Now, the question might always be raised that how these foreign migrants are going to affect the UK once they leave. Could any of the 'Leave' voters guess what would be the real impact on the rest of the workforce and the wider economy? Or was the blames brought by supporters of 'Leave EU' against immigrants right? If 'right'- how, and if not 'right', how it went wrong. All these need to be explored in depth by examining the probable impacts that are on UK at the moment. Let we analysis how a reduction in immigration could have side-effects on damaging economy, services and others as these immigrants will no more boost national productivity by filling gaps in the labor market that would otherwise remains empty.
a. The UK is currently home to around 3.6 million EU nationals, who account for between 4% and 30% of the workforce in every major sector. This indicates, immigrant workers are much more important for many of the sectors of the economy, such as food processing, clothes manufacturing, cleaning, social welfare services, stores and IT etc. The local Britons are not enough in number to fulfill the requirements or they are not at times willing to perform those tasks by themselves. Hence, shortage of immigrants as workforce would have negative affects at all these sectors immediately causing devastating impacts both on civilian lives and national productivity. The constructional sectors will have a serious effects as it draws skilled migrated workers from Europe.
b. Low annual net migration to the UK economy would also result in less GDP. The negative outcome of immigration in the UK labor market will create inconsistency and decrease overall national income (i.e. more workers generate more GDP).
c. When the free movement would end for other EU citizens, both qualified and skilled workers would be restricted entering into the UK. This might have serious impacts on the whole of UK economy and harm the small and large business as well as vital public services. For example, If EU citizens like to come to the UK to live and work, they must have to be qualifying with certain skills and had to fit the criteria under 'Tier 2 Visa'. Since migrants would seek “Tier 2” visas who are actually more skilled workers, thereby, their salary would be higher and many would not be even able to be qualified accordingly. Hence, the UK will face a depletion in the UK workforce, harming both large and small businesses as well as vital public services, for example, in National Health Services (NHS). Financial requirements on entries with 'Tier 2 visas for National Health Service (NHS) will make it difficult to recruit enough people from abroad to staff the health service, thus, the UK risks having too few people to run the NHS. Data for the English NHS shows that in 2015 of the 1.22 million total staff around 235,000 were non-British, around 19 per cent. For nurses the share of non-British staff was 21 per cent. For doctors the non-British share was 30 per cent67. The NHS would "collapse" without its EU workers.
d. Nonetheless, when it comes to the impact of the immigrants on the UK market, the widely accepted assumption for the negative employment and wage effects on the resident population, is not easily justifiable. Perceptions such as: immigrants take away jobs from UK-born population, immigrants contribute to large increases in unemployment and they depress wages of existing workers, are neither supported or receive any confirmation from any data analysis. Theoretically, the impact of immigrants on the UK labor market depends crucially on assumptions regarding economic flexibility. For example, if the UK economy is characterized by a heterogeneous traded goods sector, employment and wages would be insensitive to immigration (at least in the long run). However, if there is little flexibility in the traded goods, then we can expect the impacts of immigration in the long run on both employment and wages.
e. However, falls in EU emigration are supposed to lead to lower living standards for the UK-born, based on the fact that immigrants help the economy by reducing the country`s deficit. We cannot be precise about the size of the losses from restricting immigration, but based on a variety of data analysis, we can confidently say that EU immigration has not had a significantly negative impact on average wages, employment, and inequality. Further, the same thing is effective for the positive impact of immigrants. Brexit has in fact forced ministers to increasingly acknowledge an uncomfortable truth: Britain needs immigrants. Those who boasted during the referendum of their desire to reduce the number of newcomers have been forced to qualify their remarks. it will need immigrants more than ever. Both the government and voters may only miss migrants when they're gone.
History of British says that it ruled such a vast areas both in Asian and European continents that the sun of British Empire never set off. Somewhere, some of the colonial states had the sun. It's a hearsay. But after the loss of many of her colonies and territories, England in relation to Europe still was holding the balance between contending powers through its naval strength and few of the overseas colonies. Though slowly and gradually over the period of changing global politics, UK was disengaging and turning back from continental Asia and Europe and actually shrunk Britain's hegemony over the world politics, still Britain’s entry into the EU was a scope to maintain its relevance by becoming one of the leading nations in the Europe again. England’s extension of its power to Ireland and Scotland were contributions to its goal of defense against and influence over continental Europe. But now Britain is leaving the EU by which it had a position in Europe and shrinking its area of influence directly. The position the UK held in the EU on June 22, 2016, the day before the Brexit referendum, could be said to have been a perfect expression of that traditional English approach68. The UK was a full voting member of the union, but was exempted from aspects of the EU policies, such as, the euro, the Schengen zone, justice and home affairs cooperation, and the social chapter of the EU treaties etc69. But as a full voting member, the UK could still influence the direction of the union and, if necessary, slow down developments it did not like such as a major role for the EU in defense, where the UK preferred that to be done by NATO70. The UK’s budget contribution had been modified through a rebate, and agricultural policy had been modified in a direction sought by the country71. Britain, it could be said, had the best of both worlds the day before the referendum. It was sufficiently in to exercise influence on the EU, but sufficiently out to maintain the sort of freedom of action that befitted its historic role72.
Though, the UK is still an influential global player because it is one of the two major military powers in Europe, it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the sixth largest economy in the world, a nuclear weapons state, a member of the world’s most powerful intelligence agreement and a cultural superpower. Yet, one of the questions that must begin to answer in the next that what its role in the world will be after Brexit.
Right at this moment, answer of the above question is not easy to be answered. But it can be said that the UK will lose an empire to play a separate power role. And as the UK doesn’t have the capacity to be all things to all people, so it will need to make choices. When out from the EU, its main task will be to figure out what kind of power it wants to be and the tools it will need to support its new role. The UK will also need to clarify its relationship with the EU and take into account the expectations of where others see the UK foreign policy making a difference. One thing is for sure to say that it will no longer be the global hegemony and Britain might not be a ‘top nation’ any more.
There is an another interesting question as to whether Britain will be able to play a role outside of the EU in pushing for tougher action against Russia or not. The UK must read some of the inherent symptoms that member countries of the EU or countries outside the EU show. For example, the influence of Russian money in Cyprus means that it is unlikely that Cyprus signs in a joint agreement for tough actions against Russia. The political biasness of Italy and Austria is somehow pro-Russian. In Germany, the reliance on Russian gas complicates the country’s attitude towards Moscow. All these issues and realities must be taken into considerations for UK in near future. If Britain is to continue influencing world affairs, it will have to invest in the mechanisms that allow it do so. That will mean spending more on diplomacy and defense system. In that case, outside the EU, Britain has to remain heavily involved in European security. This would make easier for Britain to participate in European security. This way, Britain will be a more valuable defender of the international rules-based order and a better ally to both the EU and the US if it can project force far beyond its borders when necessary.
Once the UK leaves the EU, the EU would face an unprecedented event and it could bring about a significant changes to the EU. For some, the loss of one of the most economically liberal members could tip the EU towards protectionism, or perhaps trigger a crisis in European integration. On the other hand, many see the UK leaving as a potential positivity for the EU to free itself of its most awkward member, who actually showed its detachment by not showing necessary solidarity and leadership to manage the Euro crisis, and these group think that without UK, it will make the EU easier to lead, aiding a solution to the Eurozone’s crises, in turn strengthening the foundations for an ever closer union among the people of Europe. Some point towards an EU that is more inward looking; others towards an EU that is more easily led and therefore better able to deal with its internal and external problems. Yet, it should be careful not to underplay the part the UK played in the EU's problem or under look its contributions. It should be remembered that a withdrawal could never mean the end of Britain in Europe, actually it is only the membership of the UK is been withdrawn from the EU.
The EU without the UK obviously will have many effects and impacts on the problems and issues those will be a point to ponder how to shape EU cooperation in the absence of the UK. Because in the EU’s formal decision making structures, the UK was one of the largest and arguably one of its most influential member states and truly it could change the balance of power within the EU, in turn changing its nature and direction. We will address some of the sectors how the withdrawal of the UK is going to affect on the EU matters below.
IMPACT ON ECONOMY
Through the execution of Article-50, the UK is leaving the EU and the EU is losing one of her third largest contributors. It is obvious that a Brexit would knock the EU's finely balanced power structures off. This will compel the EU to have following impacts and effects:
a. Brexit will cut the EU budgets to address the EU issues, especially in the agricultural sectors and defense sectors. This will also compel her other member countries to pour additional contributions to cover up the shortfall.
b. Without the British and their advocacy for free trade, the influence of more interventionist European countries, led by France, would become greater73.
c. Those countries who are closest to the UK, such as Belgium the Netherlands, plus those with high trade volumes including Germany and France, will suffer the greatest economic impact from Brexit in comparison to other EU countries74.
d. Germany (the third largest trading country with the UK), Cyprus (the second largest trading country with the UK) and Ireland (due to deep economic ties with the UK) will be greatly affected by the Brexit.
e. Brexit, in the long term, could inspire greater protectionism within the EU, as the strength of smaller protectionist states grow. Protectionism75 has already grown in the EU, with almost half of all EU trade policies created since 2009 hindering international trade with countries outside of the EU. This protectionism could lead to heightening trade restrictions, a rise in geopolitical tensions and a rising economic toll from natural disasters76.
f. Once the UK leaves the EU, the forces calling for reducing business regulation (as well as for a more flexible labor market) will be substantially weaker. Not only that, the harmonization of taxation across the EU will likely be more without British Parliamentarians. There will be a stronger majority in favor of the regulation of financial transactions Without the British MEPs. The pro-economic integration campaign might gain momentum without the UK. Non-euro area countries will lose one of their main allies in the EU decision-making bodies and initiatives such as a full-fledged European Banking Union and the establishment of a Eurozone’s budget will be easier to pass than with the UK at the table.
EFFECT OF EUROZONE
Due to Brexit, the eurozone is set to suffer a substantial economic blow. Sharp depreciation in the pound which can crimp eurozone exports to the UK, with small trading nations such as Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands might suffer substantial losses to trade. Due to the trade channel, bilateral trade between Ireland and the Netherlands, followed by Belgium seem to be the most exposed Eurozone countries to a Brexit. On the other hand, as the eurozone runs a trade surplus with the UK and to the extent that trade conditions might get worsen post EU renegotiations, this could be negative for the region. To take a counter measure, some of the FDI which was directed previously to the UK, might have to be re-diverted into other EU countries. Thereby, falling exports, weaker investment and a shift in the direction of EU economic policy away from free market reforms, would all combine to create a sizeable adverse shock to the continent in the long run. Ireland would see the biggest economic contraction in the event a Brexit, with cumulative growth down, Malta, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg would also a suffer substantial hit from a British exit with lower growth and Germany, the eurozone's largest economy, is in line to suffer GDP contraction, with France and Italy as well.
Up to 0.3pc of eurozone GDP will be wiped off the single currency's 19 economies in less than two years, Dutch bank ING calculates, noting that any prolonged political fallout from a Brexit could cause much "greater and longer lasting" damage to the bloc in the long-term77. It can be perceived that, due to Brexit, Pound might come under rapid depreciation, as such it might reduce the return against Dutch investment. This might confront Eurozone business in the UK. The effects of Brexit on both individual Eurozone countries and the area as a whole remain shrouded in uncertainty as follows:
a. In terms of FDIs, a Brexit could have both a negative and a positive impact on the EU. European companies might have to take losses on revaluations of their FDIs in the UK and with a weaker GBP, profits translated in euro would probably take a hit78.
b. The final tangible and direct economic or financial impact from a Brexit on the rest of the EU would be the contributions to the EU budget. As the UK is one of the net contributors to the EU budget, all other countries would have to shoulder the missing money. The biggest burden would be on the biggest countries, with Germany having to pay an additional 2.5bn euro on top the current 30bn euro into the EU budget79.
The UK is a highly influential player in the European Council and Parliament. Brexit will disrupt political processes within the EU as quite good numbers of UK representatives and citizens are currently involved in all of the EU’s core institutions, including the European Parliament, Court of Justice of the EU, and the European Council. Some believe that Brexit would significantly weaken the EU’s global role but yet Brexit could spur the EU to become more democratic in nature, empowering national parliaments with more agency in the context of the union’s decision-making. Aside from these, there might have many other impacts as follows:
a. Open Europe analysis of Council voting patterns note that there are two categories of protectionist blocks in EC. One is Southern Protectionist bloc comprising of France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. Another one is Northern Protectionist block (known as liberal block) comprising of member states of UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland and Baltic. Brexit will increase EU protectionism, as the strength of potentially protectionist member states would grow. When the UK will leave the EU, the collective weight of Northern Protectionist bloc would decline, whereas Southern Protectionist bloc would be strengthen. This will effect and produce a less open EU.
b. Aside from this, when the UK would leave the EU, this would alter the parliament's party landscape and ideological composition. For example, if the seats of UK (over 60% of the UK's 73 MEP currently sit with center-right and Eurosceptic group) is dismantled or reallocated within the member states, this loss or reallocation would strengthen the left wing. Thereby, progressive parties could form majorities.
c. As far as balance of power within the EU, the Brexit will have serious effect, especially, it will strengthen Germany's position while weakening smaller states. Smaller member states are worried about emboldening Germany as well. This would influence decisions one way in the EU. A Council of 27 members and a European Parliament lacking the British MEPs would see a substantial shift in the balance of power in favor of the pro- social/interventionist political forces, i.e. those who push for stronger intervention of the state in the economy and the redistribution of income80. On the other hand, the forces that support free market, less red tape and a more competitive Europe would suffer a substantial blow.
d. On the other hand, EU's global power will be weakened due to the UK leaving the EU. Because, Britain is the EU's foremost military power and its membership means that the EU can access the country's significant diplomatic network, intelligence capabilities and soft power. But once the UK would leave the EU, French would remain as only the major military power in the EU. It would be very difficult for the EU to impose any sanction against any capable super powers like Russia etc, in case of any needs.
e. By losing the UK, the EU would be smaller in size post-Brexit, it is far from certain that a smaller EU would have lost significant power in international institutions like the IMF or the UN.
f. Many opine that Brexit could be a long-term trigger of the EU's eventual collapse as there are many member states whose citizen are having anti-EU attitudes. As one of the Italian high official termed it as 'Domino Effect' in which numerous EU members are instigating to exit the continent-wide alliance. It is envisaged that more and more anti-EU parties will garner support throughout Europe in the next couple of years. If Britain encounters some major hurdles in its post-Brexit attempts to negotiate trade agreements with other nations and if trade deal complications prevent Britain from getting its economy back on track, then, it might dissuade current EU members from considering an exit. Otherwise, exit from EU might be a popular demands by the member states' citizen in near future. In this sense, the Brexit might become the legendary milestone either to instigate anti-EU politicians, for example, Austria, Denmark, France, Sweden and Netherlands etc to leave the EU permanently or remain closer together which will ultimately lead to strengthen the relationships between remaining members of the EU. They think that the economy of the EU will likely weaken and suffer for a time, but it will likely will balance out with time. Ultimately, this Brexit vote will not lead to the disappearance of the EU, but its strengthening.
g. According to the Lisbon Treaty (2009), if at least four members of the Council combined together vote against the decision made by qualified major voters of the Council of the EU, then, the decision of the Council can be blocked. This rule was originally developed to prevent the three most populous members i.e. Germany, France and Britain, from dominating the Council of the EU. In many policy votes Britain had allied with the relatively more economically liberal Germany who together with other northern EU allies had a blocking minority of 35% in the Council of the EU. Once the UK leaves the EU, this blocking minority can no longer be assembled leading to speculation that it could enable the other EU countries to enforce specific proposals such as relaxing EU budget discipline or providing EU-wide deposit guarantees within the banking union. Thus, other EU states could overrule Germany and its allies such as the Irish, Dutch, Scandinavians and Baltic States, in questions of EU budget discipline or the recruitment of German Banks to guarantee deposits in troubled Southern European Banks.
ON EU-UK DEFENSE
One of the biggest and most complex problems the EU will have to solve with the UK is what happens about security and defense system. European countries have always managed their security and defense via various channels: nationally, in the EU, through NATO and in smaller multilateral formats. Thus, unlike other areas (such as the single market), countries have alternatives to EU cooperation when it comes to security and defense. Some observers note that Brexit will seriously crunch the capability of EU's defense credibility. Europe really cannot predict what would be the impact on the EU once the UK leaves with its defensive capability. For the time being, the bigger ones (Germany, France) seem to be less worried but for the smaller countries who have been traditional partners of the UK, like Poland and Hungary etc, Brexit means a major loss for them. Poland tends to worry more about territorial defense in the East, southern Europeans are more concerned about the instability and terrorism at Europe’s southern border. This is worrying in view of existing challenges and the uncertainty about the European defense, which has questioned the viability of NATO and the EU. Thereby, there are questions come over how this will continue following Brexit. Brexit negotiators at both sides have been seeking to fast track deal on security and defense. It's a complex process to deal as the whole situation is nested over few decades among the member states, NATO and other security related agencies and programs.
Aside from the above, another complicacy is involved. For example, once the UK leaves the EU, naturally the EU would not want to lose its access to the UK in relation to data on criminal matters, and vice versa. Some EU countries do not want also to set a precedent by giving a non-EU country any measure of influence over policy as well. On the other hand, the UK will also have to think about how it can maintain direct access to Europol databases, which are vital for gaining information on criminals or spotting red flags when it comes to national security. So, both parties have their own interest but has policy burden as well. The EU needs the UK and in the same time, the UK needs the EU, at least for defense and security matters. If the EU denies the UK from any access and involvements, the UK might also deny to share their capabilities in favor of the EU. So, all these symptoms must be taken care while addressing the EU role dealing with defensive postures.
Thereby, this is only area where the negotiations must be less fraught, and where the repercussions must be less dramatic or must show the pragmatism between the negotiators of Brexit. Though, some analysts have suggested that Brexit could allow the EU to move ahead more easily with developing shared capabilities and undertaking military integration projects under the EU Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). But still there are many points to ponder about the EU defense and security aspects which have been totally entangled with the UK strength and influences. Let we see what are the implications of the UK strengths that are very much important for the EU. These can be summarized as follows:
a. The UK is strategically independent, its nuclear deterrent and global outlook as a permanent member of the UNSC have allowed the EU to support strong and consistent policies with respect to Russia and others who seem to be anti-EU. While experts assert that the UK remains one of the few European countries capable of expeditionary combat operations, defense resource with full-spectrum combat capability against a peer competitor such as Russia.
b. Many of the EU countries do not have operational Head Quarter which are able to command an operation and possesses high-end capabilities such as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) but the UK has.
c. As per the policy of the Key European allies, 2% of their domestic products are supposed to be spent for 'NATO'. Though most of the member states have fallen short but the UK used to spend more budgets on EU defense system than that of any other member states. Brexit will make that an even greater challenge, particularly for Great Britain's withdrawal from EU. After Britain has left the EU, the EU nations will account for 72 per cent of NATO’s membership but only 20 per cent of its military expenditure81. This is not a sustainable position. The EU states will have to raise their defense spending considerably over the coming years. But even if that happens, Britain will have an important role to play in Europe’s defense against both Russian aggression and the Islamist terrorist threat due to their defense strength.
In the light of the above situation, and due to the particular nature of security and defense cooperation in Europe, and as security and defense cooperation in the EU is more integrated than other areas (trade, agriculture etc.), which means that the UK and the EU might have to be mutually supportive in future even after Brexit. In fact, the UK is leaving the EU, but not Europe; security problems in and around the continent will hence still affect Britain. However, if after Brexit the UK can no longer shape collective answers to these challenges inside the EU, it is likely to turn to other formats. All states expect NATO to benefit from the Brexit, although they differ in their expectation on how big this benefit will be. Smaller states expect bigger benefits, hoping that the UK will refocus their capabilities on the Alliance (Hungary), France and Germany do not expect major change. Thus, NATO can benefit, as it will be the only defense forum in Europe in which the UK can still play a role, and which would allow London to underpin its “Global Britain” ambitions called for by Prime Minister Theresa May.
ON EU/UK MAJOR POLICIES
Before discussing about the effects of the policies those are going to impact on the various issues on both the UK and the EU citizen as well as on whole of the UK and the EU, let we know first what are the benefits that an UK and EU citizen and other sectors actually used to enjoy while the country remains under the umbrella of the EU.
ON CITIZEN RIGHTS
When a country is a member state of the EU, the citizens are eligible to live and work everywhere within the EU without any permission. They don't need any visa to travel from one EU country to another EU country. As the EU have a common currency, Euro, thereby, it was easy of travel and a greater sense of unity. In regards to voting rights, any EU citizen is eligible to take part to local elections of the community where he lives as well as eligible to vote for the EU parliament. He can even run for a seat in that parliament. In case of diplomatic support, every citizen who is from the EU member state, will have diplomatic protection and also all other civic rights, which means that, if the person is in a country where his home country does not have an own embassy, every EU embassy is there to help him in case of any need. There is no discrimination between citizens in the places of residence. Thereby, all kinds of similar benefits are received by every EU citizen irrespective of their own culture and nationality. For example, if an EU country allows children free public schooling, everyone equally would enjoy the same. If anyone receives social security payments, other one would also receive it as per the EU laws. Everyone's health care is ensured by the EU states, if necessary free of cost. An EU passport opens access to all universities plus numerous other colleges and schools for everyone. Any person who has the EU passport, get the opportunity to live under a tax regime that suits his situation. Not only this, the EU regulations offer a layer of privacy regarding taxation. The EU citizenship is something someone can often pass onto their children and sometimes to grandchildren and opening a world of opportunities to them. Most interesting part is that the person has the right to communicate with every administrative office within the EU in his own mother language and he has the right to receive an answer in his own mother language as well.
When the UK will leave the EU, it will no longer remain as an EU member state. The UK will be treated as non-EU member. Thus, the question arises whether the UK, as a non-EU member state, would yet be able to enjoy such privileges or not. Similarly, the status of the EU citizen also will suffer from the previleges that were granted by the UK when it was under the EU member umbrella. The Brexit deal and negotiation is still under process between the EU and the UK. So there are many things have to be negotiated by the UK while getting out from the EU block. For example, all the EU laws in force in the UK, the status of the EU citizen in the UK or the UK citizen in the EU, EU nationals with a British state pension, their passport status, the pensions, savings or mortgages settlements, the EHIC card for the citizen at both end, status of the protected species and peace and so on. These all have to be finally decided by bi-lateral discussions and approvals.
ON EU'S COMMON FISHERIES CONVENTION
For nearly 50 years, 'the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)'82 has dictated where UK fishing boats can operate and how much fish they can catch. Through this CFP, it was decided how much the EU nations can access to British territorial waters and it was almost 6 million tons of fish land under the EU fishing fleets can access in every year. Out of these, alone 3 million tones come from the UK waters. The proportion was determined both by the policy of 'London Fisheries Convention of 1964' and the EU CFP. The UK thinks that the allocation of fishing opportunities under the CFP is outdated, and the UK’s share does not accurately reflect the resources in UK waters. Though, Britain’s fishing industry accounts for only a tiny part of the UK economy, contributing less than half a per cent to annual GDP. Yet, the UK is planning for pulling out of a fishing convention, in order to fulfill one of its Brexit pledges. The UK pledged that leaving the EU would allow Britain to become an independent coastal state and it would decide unilaterally how much access to give to the EU boats after it leaves the bloc next March and also planned to give access to the UK waters on their terms, under their control and for the benefit of the UK fishermen. If the UK leaves the CFP, this will compel vessels from six EU nations (France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands) to fish within 12 nautical miles of the UK coastline. The UK vessels will also lose the right to fish in waters to 12 nautical miles from the shores of the other countries. Eight in ten Britons want to leave the little-loved CFP immediately after Brexit becomes reality in March 2019.
On the other hand, the European Commission’s Article 50 Taskforce argues that the EU vessels must continue to be allowed unfettered access to fish in UK waters if London wants to continue selling its products into the EU market.
Above all, the British would have to ask themselves whether they could effectively patrol and defend the UK waters against fishing boats from the EU states. Given these constraints, Britain has little room for maneuver in negotiations over post-CFP arrangements. The UK fishing community may emerge from Brexit in a weaker position than it expects.
ON INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
The Financial Times said that there were approximately 759 international agreements, spanning 168 non-EU countries, that the UK would no longer be a party to upon leaving the EU. This figure does not include World Trade Organization (WTO) or United Nations opt-in accords, and excludes "narrow agreements", which may also have to be renegotiated. Questions have arisen over how existing international arrangements with the EU under WTO terms should evolve.
Aviation may be heavily affected. The EU has rules allowing its airlines to fly anywhere in the union also domestic, which will not ally to the UK anymore. The EU also has treaties with many countries regulating the right to fly over, take off and land there. Unless permission or new treaties with the UK are made, aviation to and from the UK may stop.
There are many more policies which will have impacts and effects on Brexit. These all have to be dealt with between the EU and the UK once Brexit would finally be effective. The proper negotiations and deals have to be balanced during the negotiation process of Brexit. Otherwise, both the EU and the UK and other associated non-member countries would likely to face serious complecacy in daily official procedures.
POST BREXIT BI-LATERAL RELATIONSHIP
Post-withdrawal Relations between the EU and UK
Even after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU (no matter what form of divorce take place in between the EU and the UK), both have to develop a working relationship for managing their common problems. There are many common issues where both the UK and the EU developed over last 40 years. Thereby, what kinds of relationship to be opted between them, is a matter of concerned. The possible working relationship can be presumed as below options:
Option-1: The relationship can be akin to Norwegian Way
The EU could negotiate a relationship with the UK akin to that which it has with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein through becoming a EFTA member and retain access to EEA. When the UK exits the EU, and by default the single market, EFTA membership would be a prerequisite for re-accessing the single market83. While most trade would continue on the tariff-free path per Article 10 of the EEA Agreement, some sectors would be excluded84. Specifically, sectors such as agriculture and fisheries will be subject to levies and quotas since the EFTA does not include freedom of movement of these goods85. Though a “Norway”-style agreement would soften the blow of a fall back to WTO rules, it would not be without its own pains86. Being the member of EEA, it has a limited influence over the EU policy and law making procedures, yet subjects itself to them. Brussels based supranational EFTA Surveillance Authority monitors the compliance and it is adjudicated by EFTA Court based in Luxembourg. Their work mirrors that undertaken by the EC and ECJ within the EU. If the UK accepts and follow this option of relationship with the EU, then, it would be excluded from participation in EU common policies i.e. security and defense, agriculture, justice and immigration policy, fisheries policies, foreign policies etc. Not only this, when a country is a member of EEA, it agrees to the free movement of persons, as is the case throughout the EU. Thereby, UK membership of the EEA would allow EU nationals to continue to move, work and live freely in the UK. The UK would also have to pay to the EU, but expect to receive only a limited return from the EU, mainly funding for scientific research programs. It is unlikely the EU will find the UK will be as compliant and placid in its relations with the EU within this option. Because, paying for membership of the EEA, allowing the free movement of people into the UK and being subjected to supranational oversight of EU legislation over all of which it would have no direct influence is unlikely to be popular in the UK where a vote to leave had already secured the domination of Euroscepticism in British politics.
Option-2: The Swiss-EU Relationship Way
The second option would be to follow the example of Switzerland. It means that joining EFTA without joining EEA and signing multiple bilateral agreements with the EU. Switzerland signed seven sectoral agreements, which is not allowed under WTO rules, with the EU in 1999 called Bilateral Agreements87. Those agreements were followed by a second installment in 2010. Although they include freedom of movement of agricultural goods, they also include provisions for freedom of movement of people, provided they meet certain criteria. A Swiss-style EFTA deal would enable both sides to concede a bit from their firm positions88. If someone is not the member of the EEA, thereby, it has no obligation to accept new EU legislation, nor it can influence the development of that legislation. Due to given locations and dependence on the European market, Switzerland herself develops own laws keeping in mind the EU laws. To facilitate access to the EU's internal market, both the EU and Switzerland draw up numbers of bilateral agreements covering a range of areas. There is no supranational oversight of the agreements, meaning disputes can go unresolved. From the perspective of the EU, Switzerland has increasingly cherry-picked agreements that benefit its national interest. As a result the EU has grown increasingly frustrated with its limitations when the case of Switzerland. It is therefore unlikely to be a relationship the EU would willingly agree to with the UK, because the size of the relationship would be far more complex, presenting bigger problems. Britain’s entry into EFTA and the EEA would also imbalance two organizations which have increasingly become bilateral arrangements for Norwegian-EU and Swiss-EU relations. Relations with the UK would remain difficult, and could become more complicated with Switzerland and Norway.
Option-3: Relationship akin to that of Turkey
Turkey enjoys a form of customs union with the EU. The UK could adopt this kind of relationship with the EU. The UK, if, wants to have more than what is with Turkey, then, it can create a new relationship with the EU and non-EU states by having membership of the single market and some political cooperation on security matters. But this type of relationship might have been put under 'objection' by the eastern and Central Europe member countries as the trade deficit in goods the UK runs with rest of the EU, which overlooks the mutual benefits for EU of a large trading relationship.
Option-4: Adopt a Position of a WTO member
The UK could adopt a position of a WTO member, with no special links to the EU, EFTA, EEA or through some form of new relationship or free trade agreement. Actually, this would happen if the UK decides to withdraw from the EU unilaterally and without any negotiation or 'No Deal' or fail to reach agreement or 'Hard Brexit' with the EU regarding a withdrawal agreement and framework for future relations. In this scenario, the UK would likely apply the EU’s current WTO schedule of tariffs for Most Favored Nations (MFN), through a process known as rectification89. Going beyond rectification, modifying the tariffs and quotas would require lengthy negotiations. The current WTO schedule assumes that the 28 members operate as a coherent economic bloc. Keeping the common external tariff of the EU while breaking free from Brussels would leave supply chains very susceptible to disruption: Every time goods or parts would move to and from the UK, they would be hit with a levy. This type of relationship would be extremely damaging for the UK economy.
Whatever relationship would be chosen, based on the situation of negotiation of Brexit withdrawal, it would further complicate the maze of existing frameworks governing relations between European States as the relationship would not only be focused entirely on trade but other intangible inter-connected issues also. Hence, it is foreseeable that the UK will expect to be treated in some special way and continue to establish a tailored relationship. It's true that it will not be possible for Britain to return to the status-quo that existed before it joined in 1973 because the EU and more broadly Europe has become a more integral part of British life by now. But due to many inter-connected power-sharing and diplomatic ties, the relationship with the UK outside the EU must be worked out and it would require much more adjustments with the UK. No matter whether the UK would be a decision maker or decision taker, or no matter how much the UK will be excluded from the structures of the EU parliamentary proceedings etc. The UK will not disappear completely from the EU political discussions or networks. Both sides will need to reach agreement on how to manage the agreed framework for the future relations. Because, the EU will not only face the wider geopolitical implications but also will face challenges in the form of European integration and pan-European cooperation. The interconnections between the EU and the UK, along with the likely desire of the UK to continue close relations with the EU as a means to an end of bolstering its own power and security, mean future relations could be positive.
The US is Britain’s second-biggest trading partner after the EU. The UK is the US’ seventh-largest trading partner. The US-UK bilateral investment relationship is the largest in the world. The historical records say that the US and the UK are bound by history, culture, trade, democratic values and shared interests. Thus, the bilateral relationship between the UK and the US matters a lot to the UK. There is every reason to believe Washington and London will work through all bilateral issues such as counterterrorism, economic issues, and the future of NATO, as well as numerous global and regional security challenges etc, including new two-way trade deal between the US. Since deciding to leave the EU, the UK has sought to reinforce its close ties with the US and reaffirm its place as a leading country in NATO. But the UK cannot negotiate trade deals independently before it exits the EU. It will, however, be able to begin formal talks during the “transition” period that begins at the end of March 2019 and concludes in December the following year, so long as these new accords do not take effect until after the transition period ends. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, the UK would be free to negotiate, sign, and ratify any deal with anyone during the implementation period, and to bring them into force from January 2021. Although the UK cannot formally negotiate trade agreements until it leaves the EU, some suggest that positive indications of a likely future agreement with the US could help bolster the UK’s position in negotiations with the EU on the terms of Brexit and the UK’s post-Brexit economic relationship with the EU. Many think that the UK’s relationship with the US would act as a source of stability in the context of Brexit.
Above every good understanding between the UK and the USA, still there are many challenges are forseen against strengthing the bi-lateral relationship as follows:
a. The Brexit vote has fundamentally altered British foreign policy and the western international structure, which indirectly affects American foreign policy too. The primary objective of the US would be to ensure that UK is more aligned to products and practices in the US. Given the relative size of the UK and the US market it is hard to imagine that the UK would have much success in changing American practices90. Because, US market is almost five times bigger than that of the UK.
b. The prospect of Brexit is having an effect on the investment relationship with the US FDI flows to the UK and it is reportedly that it already decreased 50% over the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period of 2016. Thereby, negotiating dynamics between the UK and US on regulation are unlikely to be balanced and challenging.
c. President Trump has expressed a largely positive view of the UK, but there have been tensions and backlash from the UK side over both substantive differences and various statements made by the US President as well.
d. Another challenge is that China is the UK's fifth-largest trading partner and Donald Trump's escalating economic war with China. A trade war between the two biggest global economies has been brewing for almost a year as Trump bids to reduce America's outsized trade deficit with China91. Each new round of tariffs on Chinese imports announced by Trump has seen responded by China with tit-for-tat92. The coming trade war would likely entail not only the US attempting to reduce the bilateral trade deficit with China substantially but also an attempt at "technology denial." This was a tactic used by the US during the Cold War, in which it coerced a "western alliance" of countries, including Britain, into denying technology to China, to ensure it did not close its technology gap with the US. Taking the situational opportunity of UK after Brexit, President Trump could ask Britain to sign up to similar tactics in a post-Brexit trade arrangement and he (President Trump) could demand the UK to join its efforts to isolate China as part of a post-Brexit trading relationship with US. This would be a big risk for any UK government, given that China is one of Britain's biggest trading partners. Trump's administration might like to use a technique as pre-requisite of future bilateral deal with the UK in order to create a "Western alliance" of countries which boost the US economy and intend to strengthen the Western alliance against China. Thereby, it seems that Trump is pursuing a "predatory" policy towards Brexit and the UK93. If the UK did agree to align with Washington against China, UK is likely to become the opposition to China. This would appear highly unlikely that the UK government agrees to any bilateral deal with the US which would include sanctions against China. Thus, it can wreck the prospect of a UK-US trade deal after Brexit.
e. On the other hand, A deeper agreement between the UK and the US, more along the lines of the depth of liberalization seen in the single market, could have much stronger effects and the possibility of a US-UK deal becomes much brighter, but given China's huge economic presence on the world scene cannot be predicted how others are going to go along with this new geopolitical alignment.
Officials from the UK and US held a series of talks to pursue an ambitious US-UK free trade agreements, issues related to governance, security and economic cooperation etc at both technical and high-level political meetings as well as leaders’ level discussions between US and the UK. Recently drafted 'The Chequers Agreement'94 provides between UK and US the platform to agree an ambitious deal that works for both countries right across their economies, a deal that builds on the UK’s independent trade policy, reducing tariffs; delivering a gold standard in financial services cooperation; and, as two of the world’s most advanced economies, seizing the opportunity of new technology95. Though Brexit doesn't change the importance of American collaboration with key European allies especially with the UK, but gaining a consensus for determined action, always a challenge with Europe at 28 minus one.
The UK’s special relationship with the US has been a cornerstone of British foreign policy, to varying degrees and with some ups and downs, since the 1940s. On the other side, the UK is often perceived to be the leading allied voice in shaping US foreign policy debates, and observers assert that the UK’s status as a close ally of the US has often served to enhance its global influence as well. British support, in turn, has often helped add international credibility and weight to US policies and initiatives, and the close US-UK partnership has served common interests in bodies such as the UN, NATO, and other multilateral institutions. The UK continues to look to the US for close partnership and has sought to reinforce its US ties following Brexit.
But several incidents during President Trump’s first year in office generated a backlash in the UK. As the UK government seeks to forge a mutually beneficial partnership, President Trump remains a highly controversial figure in the UK and it concerns that people of UK including other political parties are speaking out against Trump Administration. This attitude of opposition to Trump in the UK is endangering the US-UK relationship in near future. It is too early to make any guess how the political relationship would look like under President Trump with UK government in near future.
SECURITY AND DEFENSE RELATIONS
The UK and the US have a particularly close defense relationship and a unique intelligence-sharing partnership. These two countries are engaged in more than 20 joint equipment programs, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, have many defense related mutual agreements such as '1958 US-UK Mutual Defense Agreement', '1963 US-UK Polaris Sales Agreement' etc by which still both countries are in the position to establish unique cooperation with regard to nuclear weapons, allowing for the exchange of scientific information and nuclear material. The US defense planners have always marked the UK as one of the most capable European allies, in terms of well trained combat forces and their ability to deploy forces quickly and efficiently. Observers note that both the US and the UK have similar outlooks on issues such as the use of force, the development of military capabilities, and the role of NATO.
Upon Brexit, UK will have to give up or less 'influence and perspective' at the EU decision-making and lose its rights to discuss and vote for any policy making including all security and defense related matters. This will have greatest impact between the relationship between the US and the UK. US military ties with Britain will be sheltered from Brexit storm. It is likely that the US will have less chances to access much of the influences on global perspective in terms of EU decision making against security and defense related issues.
At the same time, Brexit could have impacts on certain US strategic interests, especially in relation to Europe more broadly and with respect to possible implications for future developments in the EU. With the UK commonly regarded as the strongest US partner in the EU, a partner that commonly shares US views, and an essential voice in efforts to develop stronger EU foreign and defense policies, some US officials have conveyed concerns that the UK’s withdrawal could make the EU a less capable and less reliable partner on security and defense issues. As the UK is a leading voice for robust EU sanctions against Russia due to its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, some observers suggest the departure of the UK could shift the debate in the EU about the duration and severity of the sanctions. This will be the most greatest concern for US. A new report by the nonprofit RAND Corporation, which gets around half of its funding come from the US government, points out how the UK negotiates a security deal will greatly concern the US, which voluntarily works with the EU and its members on data sharing to monitor people of interest and prevent the spread of terrorism96. So far British official confirms that the UK would remain committed to its membership in the NATO, and will continue to partner with the US against shared threats and American officials also voiced that British leaders would uphold their tradition of employing military power, allowing the two countries’ battlefield partnerships to continue but expression of many Britons’ desire to put national interests first as it might have a greater impact on Britain’s ability to pursue expensive military technology. These two concepts of integration or non-integration would much depend on the economic and political change that may accompany Britain's transition from EU and rest of the other countries' different deals and agreements. But security experts warn that much remains unknown, about what real-world consequences may result from Britain’s departure from the EU in the relatively insulated world of military and security ties. A positive side is: the reason why the bilateral defense relationship will be relatively unchanged is that most of the two countries’ military cooperation takes place on a bilateral basis or through NATO and British position against Russia’s expansionist moves. There are no major agreements or any military arrangements that will need to be renegotiated. It’s too soon to tell how the post-exit realities for Britain will impact efforts to participate.
In regards to counter terrorism, it is a primary issue for both the UK and US. Most analysts and officials agree that US-UK intelligence and counterterrorism cooperation is close, well established, and mutually beneficial. UK agencies routinely cooperate with their US counterparts in sharing information, and US and British law enforcement and intelligence agencies regularly serve as investigative partners. Although many of the details and achievements remain secret, US-UK intelligence and counterterrorism cooperation reportedly has disrupted multiple terrorist operations against both countries. Analysts believe that close US-UK cooperation will continue for the foreseeable future in counterterrorism, intelligence, as well as on numerous global and regional security challenges. NATO remains the preeminent transatlantic security institution, and UK leaders have indicated their continued commitment as a leading country in NATO. The UK also is expected to remain a key US partner in operations to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. UK officials have emphasized that Brexit does not entail a turn toward isolationism and that the UK intends to remain a global leader in international diplomacy, security issues, trade and finance, and development aid.
UK- IRELAND (REPUBLIC OF IRELAND)
When the UK and Ireland97 joined the union in 1973, Northern Ireland98 was the subject of a de jure, if not de facto, territorial dispute between the two countries99. The combination of common EU membership of the UK and Ireland with the 'Good Friday Agreement'100 reduced the tension between them and also reduced the sense of separation between both parts of Ireland and between each part of Ireland and the island of Britain. The whole setup made the two communities more willing to live with constitutional and institutional arrangements. As a result, the issue was resolved and it improved the relationship between both nations. Now Brexit has intervened the issue of Northern Ireland again. The two big parties in Northern Ireland have taken opposite sides on Brexit, where Northern Ireland casted 56% vote to 'Remain' with EU. They have revived the issue of Internal Borders, territorial sovereignty, scale of border controls, maritime boundaries, the Irish Sea, issue of fisheries and 'Good Friday Agreement' etc.
The land border which crosses along the road at Killeen, near Newry between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland is a common area through which the UK and Republic of Ireland share for travelling, exchanging of trades etc. The great concern rose based on Brexit about the border between these two (i.e. Republic of Ireland and Norther Ireland) is whether it would remain as 'hard border' or would remain as 'open border' as of now. It is to be noted that until March 2019, both the UK and the Republic of Ireland will be members of the EU and therefore both are in the Customs Union and the Single Market. There is freedom of movement for all EU nationals within the Common Travel Area and there are no customs or fixed immigration controls at the border. But after the Brexit, the border will become a land border between the EU state and a non-EU state which may entail checks on goods, impose controls on immigration, crossing posts and a customs infrastructure etc. If again, a border control system is introduced between Ireland and Northern Ireland, it might jeopardize the Good Friday Agreement and it will create disention.
While the UK is a member of the EU, trade and people can move freely around the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man101 and Channel Islands102 within the Common Travel Area based on EU rules. Now, because of Brexit, Northern Ireland will remain with the UK, while southern Ireland remains as part of the EU. Brexit supporters argue, the UK has the rights to decide who and what gets into the UK by “hardening” the border. This could complicate trade and travel in the island of Ireland.
To resolve the matter, whatever form of trade relationship between the UK and the EU i.e. whether customs union, single market or bilateral free-trade agreement etc, both sides pledged to maintain a frictionless Irish border to preserve the 'Good Friday Agreement' that brought peace to the province. Hence, as of now, both the UK and the EU agreed in principle that there must not be any physical structures, official checks once Brexit takes place. But it encompasses many complicacies to keep rules intact to 'Good Friday Agreement', national sovereignty vis-a-vis custom union characteristics etc. If 'Good Friday Agreement' has to be kept what it is now, then, the UK cannot build a border security in between Southern part of Ireland and Northern Ireland which compromises the national sovereignty. Again, if the UK builds a border security, then, it would affect the 'Good Friday Agreement' or cancellation of the agreement, which would create serious volatile situation within the North and Southern Ireland like before. Thus, the issue of Northern Ireland remains as one of the most difficult and vital issue between the EU and the UK negotiation. Many opines that this particular issue might change the whole divorce concept from 'Soft Brexit103' to 'Hard Brexit' even. The UK government is trying to find the balance between two seemingly irreconcilable goals i.e. leaving the single market and the customs union104, without returning to a hard border on the island of Ireland.
However, there is still significant work to do on the governance of the withdrawal agreement on Northern Ireland and Ireland, virtually the only agreement is on the Common Travel Area and North-South co-operation. There were lots of discussions and differences of thoughts have been followed on Ireland and Northern Ireland issue between the EU and the UK side. In view of the above, both the EU and the UK forwarded their Backstop105 options as follows:
EU Backstop Option. As per the Joint Report, reached between the UK and the EU in December 2017 included a formula to state that the aim of the future trade negotiations would be to provide “specific (technological) solutions” for a frictionless invisible border. If the UK and the EU cannot agree on those “specific solutions”, then either the UK as a whole, or Northern Ireland alone, will remain aligned to the single market and the customs union after Brexit takes place. The proposal from the EU later was legally codified in a protocol contained in the Draft Withdrawal Treaty says that, should no specific solution be found, a common regulatory area comprising the EU and Northern Ireland, and that the “territory of Northern Ireland” (excluding territorial waters) be considered to be inside the Customs Union. This would mean that Northern Ireland would still effectively be inside the customs union, even if the rest of the UK was out. This would mean there would be no need for checks at the Irish border, but there could be checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Later on, as per EU Commission, Draft Agreement on the withdrawal, 19 March 2018, the EU proposed that 'A common regulatory area comprising the Union and the UK in respect of Northern Ireland will be established. The common regulatory area shall constitute an area without internal borders in which the free movement of goods is ensured and North-South cooperation protected in accordance with this chapter'.
UK Backstop Option. The option given by the EU was not agreed by the UK government in principle. The UK government stated that, just as it would be unacceptable to go back to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland after Brexit, but it would also be unacceptable to break up the UK’s own common market by creating a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea because the Government of the UK thinks, the proposed creation of a "common regulatory area" between the EU and Northern Ireland would "threaten constitutional integrity. Thereby, UK has pledged not to leave Northern Ireland in a different regulatory territory to Britain, because of the reasons that people can use the open border to travel illegally from Ireland to Northern Ireland and on to the rest of the UK, and likewise in the other direction. The UK gave their 'Backstop Option' that says, whole UK will remain in the customs union for a limited period after the end of the transition period, so it would leave the EU in March 2019 and the single market in December 2020, but stay in the customs union for longer. The idea is to apply a temporary customs arrangement between the UK and the EU that would allow the UK to sign free trade deals with other countries (but not implement the parts of them relating to tariffs, rendering them largely pointless). The proposed UK backstop will only be in place until the future customs arrangement can be introduced, which the government expects to be the end of December 2021 at the latest.
So, where is the deadlock upon these two options? If we analyze both Backstops, the EU Backstop reduces the single market access of Northern Ireland to goods, including agricultural and electrical. The UK Backstop proposal is even more limited as it explicitly only deals with customer processes and does not engage with issue such as regulatory alignment, agriculture, fisheries and environmental that EU Backstop option covers. The EU does not want to accept the whole of the UK remaining in the custom union and single market without EU membership. The EU thinks that, there is no arrangements clarified in UK option either on whether ECJ jurisdiction will apply during Backstop period or not and in their option, there is no clarity on 'time' on their Backstop. The EU’s also concern is that the single market has to be protected and it can’t allow sub-standard goods to get into Ireland and on to elsewhere in the EU via a Britain-Northern Ireland route. The EU also concerns that a legal backstop is necessary not just to ensure frictionless trade but to protect a fragile peace also. It argues that the normalization of life on the border is a byproduct of the cross-border cooperation in trade, schools, healthcare and agriculture that has flourished since the Good Friday agreement. Regarding the issue of fisheries, agreements will have to be reached on the highly emotional and symbolic issue of fisheries between these two countries to clearly earmark the policies on territorial waters on how fishing boats can move, who shares how much allocations etc. In the absence of a clear-cut agreement, one can easily envisage clashes, even physical clashes, in seas around states.
All these issues are yet to be mutually solved. These issues have caused Brexit-EU negotiations to a halt. In fact one thing behind the curtail needs to be borne in mind that the border wasn’t just open due to EU rules. It has been open for 20 years as a compromise that ended decades of violence in Ireland and as a symbol of identity in the country. Closing this border could undermine one of Europe’s greatest success stories.
As of now, the UK government have agreed with the rest of the EU that they are going to find solutions that keep the internal Irish border exactly as it is now: invisible, and irrelevant. The government have said they will do this is in one of two ways. Either through a new trading relationship with the EU or through new technology. Both of these options must be in an agreement with the rest of the EU. If neither of these two solutions on trade or technology work, then the UK government is going to use the “backstop” option which means that Northern Ireland remains in the customs union and single market.
The most fear is: the 'backstop' option can be superseded at any moment by a subsequent agreement on Northern Ireland that could replace, in full or partially, the Protocol106. Secondly, the provisions on fishing quotas were contested by many in the UK as a significant concession: accordingly, the UK accepts being bound by the current EU rules on fisheries during the transition107.
With such stand point, issues like trade and the future state of the border on the Island of Ireland remain two key stumbling blocks in talks. The two sides hope they could reach a deal in November although there are still chances of a no-deal situation where Britain would crash out of the EU without regulating trade and other issues.
Gibraltar108 is part of the EU but dependent territory of the UK with exemption from some areas such as the EU Customs Union, Common Agricultural Policy and the Schengen Area. It is the only British Overseas Territory since 1713109, which is part of the EU located at the southern tip of the Spain’s Iberian Peninsula. Gibraltar participates in the European Parliamentary election under part of South West England constituency. As a British Overseas Territory, by default, will cease to be a part of the EU upon the UK's withdrawal. Nevertheless, the territory remains within the EU until Brexit is completed. On 23 June 2016 Gibraltar voted along with the UK in the EU referendum where 99% of its population voted to remain in the EU. Spain has a custom border with Gibraltar.
According to section 24 of the guidelines document, agreed upon by the EC in April 2017, “after the UK leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the UK may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the UK110.” This empowered Spain to impose a veto over how any UK-EU trade deal or arrangement or the future of British sovereign territory will affect Gibraltar. Thereby, the future of Gibraltar after Brexit, when the UK leaves the EU, requires a negotiating strategy with clear objectives from the Spanish government111. The final Brexit pact must set down a series of measures to improve conditions in the area, including the labor conditions of the 10,000 Spanish workers who cross into the British offshore territory from neighboring Campo de Gibraltar every day, the environment (pollutants discharged by Gibraltar affect Algeciras Bay), tobacco smuggling and tax evasion112. In view of the above, Gibraltar's position during the process of UK withdrawal from the EU, presents unique issues during the negotiations and could lead to difficulties in Brexit negotiations due to the Spanish sovereignty claim on Gibraltar, the large contribution of on-line gambling, offshore banking and duty-free shopping, to the Gibraltar economy, and the possibility that Gibraltar will cease to be a part of the single market.
Spain announced that she (Spain) hopes to sign off on a bilateral agreement, such as, the future of free-flowing traffic at the Gibraltar–Spain border, post-Brexit legal status of Gibraltar and also joint Spanish–British control of the peninsula with Britain over Gibraltar. Though Gibraltar overwhelmingly backed remaining British with 98.9 percent of voters rejecting any form of shared sovereignty with Spain113. Still Spain has some role to play on the issue of Gibraltar. The UK government states it will only negotiate on the sovereignty of Gibraltar with the consent of its people and people of Gibraltar already consented to remain with UK instead of Spain. The final result is yet to be published about the bilateral negotiation on Gibraltar.
In view of the above scenario, what is presume that Spain will leave the claim ultimately over Gibraltar because of mutual trade and defense relationship with UK. Because, in the coming future, the prosperity of European countries would lie in concerned country's potential to project power globally, means beyond their immediate geographical neighborhood 114. In this regard, the UK is Europe's best prepared country to get by in a non-European world. Thus, the bilateral relationship with the UK appears to be a highly valuable asset for Spain in the context of a much-needed rediscovery of its own maritime and global potential115. The advantages that Spain can derive from a strategic alignment with the UK are obvious, given the UK’s position as a major strategic power in Europe and Europe’s foremost global power, as a Mediterranean and Atlantic power and its pre-positioning in the Indo-Pacific and Arctic geopolitical spaces. A close strategic relationship with the UK would help advance some of Spain’s main geopolitical objectives116. The strategic impact on Spain of the British presence in Gibraltar is minor, and in any event not necessarily negative. In fact, the main strategic challenge of the Gibraltar dispute is arguably its capacity for undermining (for domestic political reasons) greater strategic cooperation between the two countries. It is important that Spain’s strategic and political elites take this problem on board and do not allow the Gibraltar ‘squabble’ to sabotage the development of a bilateral relationship that represents a major asset in realizing Spain’s strategic potential117. Moreover, the British decision to place its strategic relations with the US ahead of its frustration with such developments as Irish independence and the Suez crisis provide Spain with an example of how to address the Gibraltar dispute in a pragmatic manner118. It is worth recalling in this context that the US has been a major political advocate of the independence of Ireland, the geographical location of which (between the UK and the Atlantic) could have a strategic value for the UK that is the equivalent of Gibraltar for Spain.
Aside from the above analysis, the UK and Spain are close partners in NATO, UN, among numerous international organizations, and they have huge commercial relationship. Nearly 19 million British tourists visited Spain in 2017 and around 300,000 British people are residents, while almost 200,000 Spanish people live in the UK. Any bilateral mutual disturbance would poses risks to the very strong British investment in Spain. It might be a point for Spain that, instead of claiming any sovereignty right, Spain might urges to EU and the UK for Gibraltar to continue to enjoy the benefits of the single market and the customs union after Brexit.
Aside from above discussed territorial issues (i.e. between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the boundary between Gibraltar and Spain), there is another territorial issue concerns Brexit. It is between UK military areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Cyprus. While Akrotiri is surrounded by territory controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, but Dhekelia borders on the United Nations (UN) buffer zone and the area controlled by the Turkish forces which is outside the EU. The UK retained these two areas under the '1960 Treaty of Establishment' for the independence of Cyprus and considered as British Sovereign Base Area119 (SBA) since 2012. Thereby, these SBA is considered as out of the EU but Under Article 2(1) of the Protocol120, they are partially part of the EU customs union in three domains: VAT, agriculture and fisheries but these are out of the EU. These two Bases do also apply and respect some EU laws because of a protocol annexed to the Act of Accession of Cyprus in 2004. Therefore, Brexit will have an impact on these Bases as well.
Since the SBAs are outside the EU, so, Cyprus has been given the green light to conduct bilateral talks with the UK on a Brexit-related issue. It is to be noted clearly that these SBA issues with Cyprus can be dealt based on the relations between the UK and the EU during the transition period. Indeed, as soon the UK won’t be part of the EU anymore, on March 30 2019, an almost-two-year transition period will start until the 31st of December 2020 where the framework for its future relationship with the Union will be negotiated. This will give the requisite time for the UK to tackle the issue of the borders between Cyprus and its two sovereign bases. However, whatever deal may be found could be served as an occasion for Cyprus to clarify the legal status of the Bases, or even try to take them back since the territories in question did not gain independence in 1960 with the rest of Cyprus and remained a vestige of the colony ceded to the UK in 1914. In addition to that, Cyprus, with the Treaty of Establishment, ceded the right to its territorial seas to the Bases. Territorial water normally are entitled only to states under international law. Cyprus will try to clarify to which extent the bases really are sovereign and try to gain as much as possible in any deal. The negotiation will have effect based on the Soft or Hard Deal with EU. In the case of a soft Brexit, the stakeholders could choose to keep implementing the objectives of the Protocol, or other provisions of the (current) EU Treaty and relevant EU legislation in the Bases. While in the case of a hard Brexit, if the two countries fail to reach any agreement, then they may have to return to the status of the bases under the 1960 treaty. That wouldn’t cover issues such as EU agricultural policy or free movement of workers.
There are many things to be borne in mind for Cyprus while negotiating with the UK for these two SBAs. For example, there is a danger for Cyprus if she wins a deal to take back the Bases from the UK because the UK is a “guarantor” of the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus between Greece and Turkey. Dhekelia is almost entirely in the Turkish area of Cyprus and the relationship with Turkey is crucial. Thereby, the sovereignty of the area around the bases themselves could be at stake as Northern Turkish Cyprus might claim for it. The future loss of British influence with the rest of the EU in this area is worrying.
Through Brexit, it could impact the free movement of Cypriot workers in the SBAs, as well as their right to settle, openly start business, get their social security, and freely send their children to the few schools present in the zones. If there’s no overall Brexit deal, Cypriot farmers producing goods in the base areas may not get any subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy for instance. The law on the island is mainly British, which has proved of great benefit to the Cypriots in making the island attractive for incorporation and business investment. Of its million tourists a year, half are from Britain. Many Brits own second homes on the island and substantial numbers of them have retired to it. Its currency is the euro, of course, and the impact of Brexit on the exchange rate and the spending power of Brits on the island are issues that are likely to affect Cyprus’s economy. Britain is Cyprus’s second largest trading partner and there are an estimated 300,000 Britons of Cypriot origin in the UK—as well as many Cypriot passport holders. And of course there is an issue with the two RAF bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia, where some 15,000 Cypriots, EU citizens, live on what is British Sovereign territory.
With the above situation and discussion, the likely scenario might be that both must have the feelings to keep the same status quo and retain citizenship of the UK for easy solution of all kinds of barriers above. Anyhow, nothing has been agreed so far, and the only official guidelines for the European Council state that the EU and the UK will need to agree on arrangements on the SBAs “and recognize in that respect bilateral agreements and arrangements between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom which are compatible with EU law, in particular as regards the situation of those EU citizens resident or working in the Sovereign Base Areas”.
To Be Continued...
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27. Mapped: how the eurozone will suffer after a Brexit by Mehreen Khan
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38. Gibraltar after Brexit, El Pais Editorial, 24 September 2018
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43. A second Brexit referendum is wishful thinking, By Beth Oppenheim, The CNN, 19 October 2018, https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/19/opinions/brexit-peoples-vote-opinion-intl/index.html
44. Will there be a second EU referendum, what is Labour’s position and how would another Brexit vote work? By Phoebe Cooke, Neal Baker, Jon Rogers and Tariq Tahir, The Sun, 13th November 2018. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/5163675/second-referendum-labour-keir-starmer/
02. Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU, By Alex Hunt & Brian Wheeler, BBC News 5 September 2018 https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887
04. The ‘Single Market’ concept, which was completed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people within European Union, as if it was a single country, where it boosts trade, create jobs, and create possibility to set business anywhere within Europe under the common law-making to ensure products made to the same technical standard. But it requires common law-making to ensure products are made to the same technical standards and imposes other rules to ensure a level playing field.
05. BBC News, 1 April 2014, Britain and the EU: A long and Rocky Relationship by Sam Wilson, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26515129
08. Black Wednesday occurred in the United Kingdom on 16 September 1992, when John Major's Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after it was unable to keep the pound above its agreed lower limit in the ERM. In 1997, the UK Treasury estimated the cost of Black Wednesday at £3.4 billion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Wednesday
09. BBC News, 1 April 2014, Britain and the EU: A long and Rocky Relationship by Sam Wilson, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26515129
10. Ibid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit
11. Office of Communications known as ‘Ofcom’, the UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting telecommunications and postal industries of the UK.
12. Sieps, June Issue 2011: 6epa, “The European Treaty Amenmend for the creation of Financial Stability Mechanism” by Bruno De Witte.
13. BBC News, UK, 9 Dec 2011, David Cameron Blocks EU-Wide Deal to Tackle Euro Crisis
14. The Guardian, 9 Dec 2011, David Cameron blocks EU Treaty with Veto
15. BBC News, UK, 9 Dec 2011, David Cameron Blocks EU-Wide Deal to Tackle Euro Crisis
16. The Guardian, 9 December 2011, David Cameron Blocks EU Treaty with Veto, casting Britain adrift in Europe, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/09/david-cameron-blocks-eu-treaty
17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit/Negotiations for EU reform
18. https://en.wikipedia.org, Wikipedia, United Kingdom renegotiation of European Union Membership, 2015-2016.
19. Article 50 is a clause in the European Union's (EU) Lisbon Treaty that outlines the steps to be taken by a country seeking to leave the bloc voluntarily. Invoking Article 50 kick-starts the formal exit process and serves as a way for countries to officially declare their intention to leave the EU.
20. The Great Miscalculation: David Cameron’s Renegotiation and the EU Referendum Campaign By Dr Andrew Glencross https://www.referendumanalysis.eu/eu-referendum-analysis-2016/section-1-context/the-great-miscalculation-david-camerons-renegotiation-and-the-eu-referendum-campaign/
24. Understanding the Role of the Mass Media in the EU Referendum by Dr Mike Berry.
29. The Telegraph, 22 June 2016, '20 Reasons you should vote to leave the European Union' by Telegraph View..
30. The Huffington Post, 27 June 2016, Brexit Is a Mutiny Against the Cosmopolitan Elite By Craig Calhoun
34. Brexit is a wake-up call to the EU, but so far it is not being answered. By Paul Sheard
35. The Guardian, 25 June 2016, 'In this Brexit vote, the Poor Turned on an Elite who Ignored them' by Ian Jack
36. The Telegraph, 30 September 2016, 'Britain's Ruling Classes were only Group to Vote to Stay in the EU at Referendum, Major New Report Finds' by Christopher Hope
37. The Guardian, 25 June 2016, 'In this Brexit vote, the Poor Turned on an Elite who Ignored them' by Ian Jack
39. The Telegraph, 30 September 2016, 'Britain's Ruling Classes were only Group to Vote to Stay in the EU at Referendum, Major New Report Finds' by Christopher Hope
41. The Vox, 25 June 2016, Brexit was a Rejection of Britain's Governing Elite By Jeremy Shapiro, https://www.vox.com/2016/6/25/12023532/brexit-rejection-britains-governing-elite
44. The Telegraph, 30 September 2016, 'Britain's Ruling Classes were only Group to Vote to Stay in the EU at Referendum, Major New Report Finds' by Christopher Hope
47. The eurozone's member states are Portugal, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, and Latvia.
48. Vox, 6 Jul 2015, '9 Facts About Greece and the Eurozone Crisis' By Matthew Yglesias
55. The Independent, 6 December 2017, 'This is how Brexit will actually affect the economy over the next 10 years' By Hamish McRae
56. A hard Brexit rejects the whole idea of close alignment. The goal is to escape burdensome EU regulations and tariffs, so as to be able to draw up rules and customs arrangements of Britain's own choosing. In practice a hard Brexit means leaving both the single market and the customs union.
57. WTO Rules: It means that one-third of UK exports to the EU would be tariff-free, one-quarter would face high trade barriers and rest exports risk tariffs ranging 1% up to 10%.
58. Reuters, 24 June 2016, 'What Brexit could mean for the UK economy'
62. PWC, UK, The impact of Brexit on government and public sector, https://www.pwc.co.uk/the-eu-referendum/the-impact-of-brexit-on-government-and-public-sector.html
65. The Political and Economic Impact of Brexit on the EU By Elinor Aspegren, Claremont Journal of Law and Public Policy / February 20, 2018 https://5clpp.com/2018/02/20/the-political-and-economic-impact-of-brexit-on-the-eu/
67. What do immigrants do for the UK economy? Nine charts Conservative ministers seem to be ignoring By Ben Chu Economics Editor , The Independent, 5 October 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/immigration-uk-economy-what-are-the-benefits-stats-theresa-may-amber-rudd-tory-conference-speeches-a7346121.html
68. The Political Consequences of Brexit, By John Bruton, https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/brexit-european-union-britain-united-kingdom-theresa-may-uk-election-result-latest-europe-news-today-97421/
73. What does Brexit mean for the EU/Eurozone? By Carsten Brzeski, Chief Economist ING-DiBa, https://www.ingwb.com/insights/research/what-does-brexit-mean-for-the-eueurozone
74. The Political and Economic Impact of Brexit on the EU By Elinor Aspegren, Claremont Journal of Law and Public Policy / February 20, 2018, https://5clpp.com/2018/02/20/the-political-and-economic-impact-of-brexit-on-the-eu/
75. Protectionism is the practice of shielding a country’s domestic industries from foreign competition by taxing imports.
76. The Political and Economic Impact of Brexit on the EU By Elinor Aspegren, Claremont Journal of Law and Public Policy / February 20, 2018, https://5clpp.com/2018/02/20/the-political-and-economic-impact-of-brexit-on-the-eu/
77. Mapped: how the eurozone will suffer after a Brexit by Mehreen Khan 25 March 2016
78. What does Brexit mean for the EU/Eurozone? By Carsten Brzeski, Chief Economist ING-DiBa, https://www.ingwb.com/insights/research/what-does-brexit-mean-for-the-eueurozone
80. Vote Watch-Europe, 5 April 2017, 'Top 8 effects of Brexit on the future EU policies', http://www.votewatch.eu/blog/top-8-effects-of-brexit-on-the-future-eu-policies/
81. Spectator, 14 April 2018, Will Britain Find a New Role in the World after Brexit? By James Forsyth
82. The Common Fisheries Policy gives access for any member country to the waters of any other member country
83. 'A Look at the Potential Impact of Brexit on the Dutch Economy', by Jan Lammersen, Economist, The Focus Economy', 3 October 2017, https://www.focus-economics.com/blog/potential-impact-brexit-dutch-economy
90. A Tremendous Increase in UK-US Trade after Brexit? by Michael Johnson, Published in Trade Knowledge, 2 February 2018, https://trade-knowledge.net/commentary/tremendous-increase-uk-us-trade-brexit/
91. "Trump's 'Economic Cold War' with China could wreck any chance of a UK-US trade deal after Brexit" By Thomas Colson,10 April 2018
94. The Chequers plan, also known as the Chequers deal, Chequers agreement or simply Chequers, is a key white paper concerning Brexit, published 12 July 2018 by the UK Government under Prime Minister, Theresa May. It lays out the type of relationship the UK seeks to have with the European Union after Brexit. Its official title is 'The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union'.
95. UK, US Officials Confirm Plans for Trade Pact in Post-Brexit Era, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, 19 July 2018. https://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/uk-us-officials-confirm-plans-for-trade-pact-in-post-brexit-era
96. Quartz, 12 December 2017, 'The two biggest problems posed by Brexit for the US are rarely spoken about ' by Lianna Brinded
97. Ireland or the Republic of Ireland (as it is officially name) is a completely separate country and has no longer any formal bond to the UK.
98. Northern Ireland is part of the UK. The UK, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
99. The Political Consequences of Brexit, By John Bruton, https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/brexit-european-union-britain-united-kingdom-theresa-may-uk-election-result-latest-europe-news-today-97421/
100. 'Good Friday Agreement' is the agreement acknowledged the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom, reflecting the wish of the majority of citizens. But it also established a principle of consent that a united Ireland could come about if and when a majority of people in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland wanted it. In this instance, the British government would be bound to hold a referendum, and honor the results.
101. The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. The Isle of Man is neither part of the European Union, nor has a special status. However, Protocol 3 of the UK's Act of Accession to the Treaty of Rome included the Isle of Man within the EU's customs area, allowing for trade in Manx goods without tariffs throughout the EU. EU citizens are entitled to travel and reside, but not work, in the island without restriction.
102. The Channel Islands are a group of British dependency islands in the English Channel, off the coast of France. It has a special relationship with the EU through the UK. It is only regarded as being a part of the European Union for trade in goods, otherwise the Island is not a part of the EU. The formal relationship is set out in Protocol 3 of the UK's 1972 Accession
103. Soft Brexit- a Brexit in which the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union is a close as possible to what it was before Brexit: In a "soft Brexit", Britain would be out of the EU but would retain strong economic ties, make budgetary contributions, remains in the single market and allow free movement of people.
104. The customs union ensures EU member states all charge the same import duties to countries outside the EU. It allows member states to trade freely with each other, without burdensome customs checks at borders, but it limits their freedom to strike their own trade deals. It is different from a free trade area. In a free trade area no tariffs, taxes or quotas are charged on goods and services moving within the area but members are free to strike their own external trade deals.
105. Backstop means a position of last resort, to protect an open border on the island of Ireland in the event that the UK leaves the EU without securing an all-encompassing deal.
106. The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, Progress to Date and Remaining Difficulties By Carmen Cristina Cirlig, Laura Tilindyite, Sidonia Mazur, PE626.110, July 2018
108. Short Description of Gibraltar: It has an area of 6.7 km2 and is bordered to the north by Spain. It shares a maritime border with Morocco separated by a narrow passage of water called the Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar has limited powers of self-government, with some responsibilities, such as defense and foreign relations, remaining with the British government. But this small territory is utterly dependent on the flow of goods and people across the border with Spain.
109. Gibraltar status is URGENT - Spain demands talks AFTER Brexit, By Carly Read, The Express News, 12 Oct 2018, https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1030293/Gibraltar-status-is-URGENT-Spain-demands-talks-AFTER-Brexit
11. Gibraltar after Brexit, El Pais Editorial, 24 September 2018
113. Gibraltar status is URGENT - Spain demands talks AFTER Brexit, By Carly Read, The Express News, 12 Oct 2018, https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1030293/Gibraltar-status-is-URGENT-Spain-demands-talks-AFTER-Brexit
114. Eurasia review, 9 October 2016, Beyond Brexit: Future Of Spanish-British Relationship – Analysis By Elcano Royal Institute
119. Akrotiri and Dhekelia, together makes up to for 3% of the territory of the island of Cyprus
120. EU Accession Protocol 3 on SBAs, 28-4-2011 , 'On the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Cyprus', ARTICLE 2 1: The Sovereign Base Areas shall be included within the customs territory of the Community and, for this purpose, the customs and common commercial policy acts listed in Part One of the Annex to this Protocol shall apply to the Sovereign Base Areas with the amendments set out in the Annex.
ABOUT the Author
Major Mohammad Akhtar Hossain (Retd) was commissioned in 1985 with 13th BMA Long Course from Bangladesh Military Academy, Bhatiary. He served in various Artillery units in both Command and Staff level. He served as General Staff Officer in 11 Infantry Division as GSO-2 (Operation) from 1998 to 2002, served as General Staff Officer in Military Training Directorate as GSO-2( Training) in Army Head Quarters from 2002 to 2003. Major Akhtar (Retd) did his Staff College from DSCSC at Mirpur in 1998. He completed his Officers’ Gunnery Staff Course in 2003 from Artillery Center and School, Halishahor. Major Akhtar (Retd) served in Haiti under United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) for restoration of democracy in Haiti from 1995 to 1996. He also worked with United Nations Observer Missions in Georgia (UNOMIG) in Georgia in 2003. Major Akhtar (Retd) accrued three post graduate degrees in his careers, which are MDS (Masters in Defense Studies) from National University, MSc (Masters in Science) from Bangladesh University of Professionals, and MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from AIUMT. He also has been awarded with PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in 2007-2008. At present, Major Akhtar (Retd) is doing business of his own and holding the port-folio of Managing Director of River Side Sweaters Limited, An-Noor Fashion Apparels, MAA Industries Limited, and others.