Brexit will have “very limited” geopolitical impact on India as the country does not play a “crucial role” in global trade, Chinese official media said on Tuesday.
An article in the state-run ‘Global Times’ said that the UK’s exit from the EU will make the 28-nation bloc weaker and Britian may make a stronger pitch for its weapons sales to Indian defence forces.
“Brexit will have little geopolitical impact on India. Cooperation between the EU and India is mainly focused on economy and trade,” the article said.
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“Given the fact that New Delhi is not playing a crucial role in global trade or the international geopolitical system, the influence of Britain leaving the European Union will prove to be very limited,” it said.
Noting that politically, Europe will always stand beside the US, the article said there is little possibility that the EU will boost its influence through enhancing collaboration with rising powers.
“One thing is positive for India though. The UK has always been interested in defence cooperation with New Delhi which is currently the world’s largest importer of arms and ammunition. London will put more emphasis on promoting its arms trade with New Delhi after leaving the EU,” the write-up said.
“In economy and trade, there will be impacts, though not significant ones. The EU is one of India’s most important export markets, thus New Delhi has been taking its trade ties with Brussels seriously,” it said.
The article said that due to the UK’s history of colonialism in India, London still sees itself as India’s metropole.
“Britain was a major nation within the EU that rooted for developing closer ties with India. Yet after the UK divorces the EU, the UK’s role in promoting India-EU relations will no longer exist,” it said.
“Nevertheless, because of India’s small trade volume and the country’s established communication channels and trade rules between European nations and New Delhi, no strong influence will be created by Brexit on India,” it said.
“However, after Brexit, the EU will be bound to rearrange this policy with the UK, which means Britain will no longer be a doorway for immigrants to Europe, and its attraction for large sources of immigration such as India will be reduced,” it said.
In the historic June 23 referendum, the UK voted to leave the EU after 43 years as 52 per cent of the Britons favoured quitting the 28-member EU while 48 per cent supported staying in the bloc.