Oldest goes out and the largest is kept out – A

“Two is company, three is politics.”

Two contrasting developments dominated the narrative across the world on 24th June, although they were in the works for years. Half the world was shaken out of its slumber and the other half which was awake, watched a nightmare come true, the oldest democracy and the biggest votary of free trade had decided to withdraw, from the biggest trading bloc that the world has ever seen. On the other hand a very high profile attempt by the largest democracy to gain entry into an exclusive group of nuclear powers failed flat.

Even before the Industrial Revolution had struck Britain, way back in 1600 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth had granted a Royal Charter to George Earl of Cumberland and 215 Knights, under the name “Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies,” (EIC in short) International trade was to be the pivot for Britains’ development. Colonialism was always a means to an end, as territories were acquired overseas primarily with the aim of securing raw materials, and assured markets for final products. In the good old days it was cotton and textiles, and in the not so good and not so old days, it is crude and all the luxury products like high end cars, aircraft, yatchs.

Later on, some statesmen on the Continent, the likes of Napolean, Bismark and Hitler, made their intermittent efforts to de-balkanize a disparate Europe, occasionally unifying it with the objective of shared visions of development. European Union is one such attempt in the continuum, which had begun a few decades after the Great War and gathered momentum post unification of the two German states. A united Europe was a fortress designed to prevent a recurrence of its own violent past, and accelerate development through free trade, on three aspects, products, people and capital, through the unique concept of passporting.

Way back in 1974, at the peak of Cold War, when Germany itself was divided into two parts, India under the leadership of Indira blasted the doors of the exclusive nuclear group in the desert of Pokharan. Buddha smiled but not the world leaders who huddled concerned at the ease with which nuclear technology had reached the Third World countries. Some harsh memories had been scratched into the open by the blast. It was not even three decades since the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The explosion in India was further complicated by the fact that India had troubled relationship with her neighbour, had already fought two wars and was in a state of undeclared war in Kashmir.

Different international groups were formed with the objective of restricting nuclear technology from becoming democratic. Nuclear Supplies Group was one such. It was supposed to be an exclusive group of nuclear powers, who had agreed to limit accessibility and development of nuclear power for military purposes. This commitment was achieved through signing the NPT. There are significant advantages for a country with nuclear capability to be part of the group, so as to exploit these capabilities for peaceful civilian purposes like energy development.

India is a large economy in the fast lane of growth, for it is still a Lower Middle Income group country as per the WB ranking, and needs to grow at near double digit figures to pull up its vast majority of population above the BPL. Getting membership of the exclusive NSG is critical

On a cloudy overcast Friday, these two trends clashed, separated by time and space. The fate of the first was announced in Birmingham about 10 am IST and the second later in the afternoon on the other side of the globe, in Seoul
The fact that the currency got pounded hitting a 31 year old low, does indicate how confident the world was of a failure of Brexit vote. And when it came, it hit the currency markets like a boulder.

An event like BREXIT is difficult to be analysed or put into the framework of a causal – effect equation; for there are so many factors at play. Lehman, Saddam, ISIS, Libya, Angela, Greek debt, Brussels, Paris…it is a long list of events that eventually culminated in today’s result. The number of reasons that can be ascribed for today’s results is almost infinite, and at best can be broadly grouped into different categories like political, social, cultural and economic. Anyone picking up one reason to be predominant cause for the decision would be missing out the big picture.

Still there are some factual points, like people in London wanted to stay in EU, so did Scots and Irish. Humans are by nature social animals at a micro level, and at a macro level closed countries living behind high walls is a concept long blown away by the winds of perestroika and glasnost that had been unleashed by Gorby decades back. So why would the major portions of countryside England, as some proponents of BREXIT would say, vote for “Independence.”

Why did people believe that they are better off being left alone to determine their destiny?

The fact that the currency got pounded hitting a 31 year old low, does indicate how confident the world was of a failure of Brexit vote. And when it came, it hit the currency markets like a boulder.

Why did people believe that they are better off being left alone to determine their destiny?

It brings us to the individuals involved. David Cameroon, the PM, focused on the constituency in and around London to take his message of Remain. His counterpart and friend, that is the beauty of British politics, BoJo, also a Londoner, having been mayor, however reached out to the broader population with messages that hit the raw nerve.

by sanjayshankar

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