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International Relations

Britain Elections

  • 16 Dec 2019
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Britain elected Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party as its Prime Minister in the recently concluded elections. This victory gives Boris Johnson a clear mandate to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without any delay.

Key Points

  • Johnson called for an early election after reaching a new divorce deal with the EU. He turned the poll into a de facto Brexit referendum.
    • His strategy was to consolidate the pro-Brexit vote, get a fresh mandate in Parliament and then quicken the Brexit process.

The Brexit Financial Settlement (Divorce Bill) is a sum of money UK needs to pay to the EU for settling all shares of the financial obligations undertaken while being a member of the EU.

  • Brexit: In 2016, a referendum was held by the U.K. government and the nation voted to leave the EU. Now the process is under the U.K. Parliament for formal withdrawal from the EU.
  • Brexit supporters wanted Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to live and/or work.
  • Impact on Britain:
    • It will give a boost to the nationalism with tougher laws on immigration.
    • Britain will also have to deal with Brexit’s effect on its economy, including the long process of new bilateral trade agreements with many other countries, including India.

Challenges

  • The road ahead is not smooth even after a timely exit. The Brexit agreement itself is controversial and it could erect an effective customs border between Britain and the island of Ireland after implementation.
    • It raises the concern on Brexit’s impact on the Good Friday Agreement.

The Good Friday Agreement or the Belfast Agreement: It was a peace agreement between the British and Irish governments and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, on how Northern Ireland should be governed.

  • Negotiating an agreement on the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU is an equally challenging task.
  • The Scottish National Party swept Scotland’s seats which might revive pro-independence sentiments in Scotland.
    • Scotland had a referendum in 2014 on whether it should stay in the U.K. or be independent of it. The referendum rejected independence and the Scottish population was in favour of remaining in the European Union.
    • Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45%.

Source: TH

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