The Implications of Brexit
By admin July 1, 2016

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On June 23, Britain voted to make a momentous decision to leave the European Union (EU) after a nearly half-century of membership plunging the country into unchartered political and economic territory and spelling the end of U.K. Prime Ministers David Cameron’s political career.


Just after the wee hours in the morning the BBC declared the result for Brexit after a surge in support for leaving the EU confounded predictions and led the Pound to fall to its lowest level for 31-years.  “The Bank of England is monitoring developments closely,” noted the Bank in a statement made this morning. “It has undertaken extensive contingency planning and is working closely with HM Treasury, other domestic authorities and overseas central banks,”


The result will trigger a process of British withdrawal from the European Union and quite possibly another referendum for an independent Scotland.


The question of how Brexit would affect the international development is one of the crucial issues in the campaign ahead of Thursday’s historic EU referendum. One area where Britain really does have global influence through its EU membership is in international development. It is one of the few countries to reach the UN development aid target of 0.7 percent GNI, and has a strong and well respected Department for International Development (DFID).


U.K. membership of the EU has been mutually beneficial when it comes to development policy. Climate change, political instability, forced migration and conflict – these are the key challenges of the 21st century. Politicians on all sides recognize that British engagement in the EU allows the U.K. to punch above its weight and extend its relationships and influence. Reflecting on 2015 which saw the new 2030 Sustainable Development agenda take shape through a series of international conferences – Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, the UN Summit on the Global Goals in New York and the Paris Climate Summit – we see that at all these major conferences, British influence was magnified because it was part of the EU delegation. The EU brings not just more influence to the table in such multilateral negotiations; it brings greater geographical reach, a perception of being a more neutral partner than former colonial powers and the sheer political clout.



Led by the U.K. presidency of the Council and G8, in 2005 the EU adopted a new consensus on development, making new commitments to increase aid and outlining shared principles for development cooperation. It is in part thanks to this new focus that the last two-decades have seen the largest reduction in extreme poverty in human history, more children are in school, fewer go hungry and gender rights are placed squarelyon the international agenda.

Brexit could have the potential to deny the U.K. the chance to help shape this policy, to extend the reach of its own national policies and to have greater clout at the UN. Equally, the EU could miss the leading role that Britain has played, as it did in 2005, in setting a strong development agenda for the whole Union.


An exit from the European Union may also have dire consequences especially in terms of development assistance to Africa. The U.K. is one of the biggest contributors to the European Development Fund (EDF), the EU’s development assistance arm, which provides funds to developing countries and regions. While a Brexit would deprive the EDF of British resources for development assistance, Watkins argues that the direct disbursement of aid—set to replace the U.K.’s contribution to the fund—from the U.K. to recipient countries will have a more narrow geographical reach than aid funneled through the EDF.




Read More:

The UK’s EU referendum: All you need to know:

BREXIT: the impact on the UK and the EU :

What would a Brexit mean for EU development assistance?:

The Brexit: What implications for Africa?:

What would ‘Brexit’ mean for Development?:

Brexit would harm efforts to tackle global poverty, UK aid figures warn:

Brexit in seven charts — the economic impact:

The economic impact of ‘Brexit’:

Farage’s dream. Britain’s nightmare? UK votes to leave EU as pound plunges to 31-year low:




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