IndiaGBnews correspondent Aline Dobbie is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on India. Born in India to Scottish parents she spent the first 16 years of her life in the sub-continent. An acclaimed writer Aline is the author of a celebrated trilogy of books on India including,The Peacock’s Call (www.thepeacockscall.co.uk) and Quicklook at India which is specifically aimed at business people.
Here, Aline analyses what Brexit means and its impact on Indo-UK relations Twitter: @AlineDobbie
I recall the Great Britain that was before we joined the European Union. Undoubtedly the EU was a very positive step for us as a whole UK but then over the decades we have almost been subsumed into an amorphous great bloc with obvious domination by the Germans. Watching with sadness that the EU wanted more and more to control our own country and diminish our sovereignty whether through trade, law, or dictatorial orders made it very frustrating for many in Britain. Had the EU ‘high command’ given Mr Cameron respect when he went to renegotiate in February instead of humiliating him and our country it is entirely possible that the outcome would have been entirely different. Most of us love Europe but not the EU. It will be good to once again be in a position to secure trade deals with great nations like India and our fellow Commonwealth countries like Australia.
Often when we in Scotland were facing the potential of the Scottish Referendum Mr Salmond used to continuously use a term ‘the golden arc of prosperity’ that is Ireland, Iceland and Norway. But then came the huge global recession sparked by irresponsible bankers which led to our Great Britain being seriously challenged for several years. Scotland would have been totally unwise to follow his ‘arc’ and vote for independence and I worked hard to secure a No vote in 2014. Now however there is a feeling all over England that ordinary good people have been disrespected and they voted accordingly yesterday. Even in Scotland 38% actually voted for Leave, and Wales indeed had a Leave majority. If everyone could now look forward but unite to work together to recreate our Great Britain….no I don’t mean in any ‘imperial’ way but as a modern country fitting into the 21st century but unhindered by suffocating legislation from the EU which had different priorities such as becoming the nation of the EU with a European Army ….that was just too much. Britain will regroup and do it with vigour and determination once the shock has diminished.
India, with whom Britain has so much shared history, is one of the truly great developing nations of the 21st century and we need to work together for the benefit of India’s huge population, and indeed our own, which stands now at 65 million. Put aside the history of centuries and look forward to young people who want to achieve their aspirations and that can happen but only through a positive outlook, mutual respect and hard work. India wants to do business and succeed and through her democratic process often is a beacon to the rest of the world through her example. This was just such a democratic process within Great Britain and the people have spoken.
Whoever becomes the new British prime minister India must surely know that they and the UK Government look on India with huge sense of goodwill wanting to do business. In another case there is a hackneyed phrase ‘the special relationship …’ well ironically that actually might be enhanced now with different leaders soon in the UK and in the USA. Let India and Great Britain have a really great interconnection for us all.