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U.K. lawmakers reject Brexit deal

The British Parliament has rejected the Brexit deal proposed by the Prime Minister Theresa May. The British House of Commons voted 432 -202 against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU in November.

Backstop provisions

The conservative objectors who were supporters of Brexit have also voted against the deal fearful of the “backstop” provisions. As per the Backstop provisions, Britain would leave the EU in March 2019, single market in December 2020, but stay in the customs union for longer.

The Backstop provisions would keep trade rules between the world’s fifth-biggest economy and its largest export market almost unchanged for a transition period running to the end of 2020. The conservatives fear that these provisions would keep the UK too closely bound by EU regulations.

What’s next?

The UK has now three options to choose from since UK is bound to leave EU by March. The options are:

  • UK can now to reach to EU to further modify the agreement. But this doesn’t seem likely because EU leaders have made it clear that it was the best compromise available.
  • The other option is the exit without any deal. This would be a doomsday scenario which would trigger a massive recession in Britain and markedly slow the European Union’s economic growth. This doomsday scenario would become inevitable if British parliament votes against the deal
  • There could be another referendum on Brexit deal in Britain. Demands for another referendum is also gaining momentum since the previous one favoured the Brexit with a narrow 52 to 48 per cent

The best possible practical option which is now doing rounds in Britain is to extend Britain’s departure date. But the EU diplomats warn that extension would only be for a few months.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018UPSC Current Affairs - 2019

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Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index measures the access each country’s travel document affords. The Index is based on the data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

Ranking of the Jurisdictions

The Rankings of the jurisdictions based on the rankings in the Henley Passport Index are:

  • Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 jurisdictions.
  • South Korea and Singapore are at joint second position offering access to 189 jurisdictions.
  • China has jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
  • India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
  • European Union member states along with Norway and the US occupy the places behind the top three nations in the rankings.
  • The rankings of the USA and UK have continued to drop.
  • The top 5 positions are held by Japan (190 countries), Singapore, South Korea (189), France, Germany (188), Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187), and Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  • The bottom 5 positions are held by Eritrea (38), Yemen (37), Pakistan (33), Somalia, Syria (32)and Afghanistan, Iraq (30).

Observations

Christian Kalin, Chairman of the Henley & Partners’ Group who is also the creator of the index notes that the ranking is a bright spot in an increasingly isolationist world.

Open-door policies have the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world. The ascent in the rankings of South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are examples of what happens when countries take a proactive foreign affairs approach, an attitude which significantly benefits their citizens as well as the international community.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018UPSC Current Affairs - 2019

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