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Brexit Explained: 9 Ways Britain Leaving EU Impacts The Rest Of Us

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By Aashay Tripathi:

The British have shocked the financial, political and business establishment of the world by voting to leave (52%) the European Union in the important referendum of June 23, 2016. Briefly analysing the votes in the referendum, we see that while England and Wales opted to leave the EU, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the city of London were strongly in favor of the Great Britain remaining a part of the EU. Looking at the vote split (52 to 48), it can’t be said that either side won decisively. However, since the Britons have spoken, this democratic decision would have a huge impact on Britain, the EU and the world as a whole.

The immediate effect can be seen in the drastic fall of the pound. It was at its lowest in 30 years, post the decision of the voting. Around £120 billion of value had been lost from the FTSE 100 index in the space of 10 minutes of the morning after. FTSE 250 showed a drastic drop as well, however, the recovery was not much relative to FTSE 100. Japan’s Nikkei 255 tumbled by 7.9% while Mumbai’s Sensex dropped by 3.6%. With one of the most important nations deciding to divorce from the 28 nation bloc, the looming uncertainty is prompting investors to take their money out of the UK and put them into safe assets like gold. This has pushed the gold prices by about 8.1%.

TOPSHOT - A demonstrator holds a placard during a protest against the outcome of the UK's June 23 referendum on the European Union (EU), in central London on June 25, 2016. The result of Britain's June 23 referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU) has pitted parents against children, cities against rural areas, north against south and university graduates against those with fewer qualifications. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU but Wales and large swathes of England, particularly former industrial hubs in the north with many disaffected workers, backed a Brexit. / AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS        (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: Justin Tallis/Getty Images)

In addition to the above immediate effects, some other issues might warrant our attention as well.

• Depending on the trade negotiations the UK has with the EU, firms will have to rethink their strategy. A third of the Indian investment in the UK is in IT and telecom sector. With Britain’s exit, a requirement for separate headquarters for Europe and Britain might crop up. Hence, if these have to navigate with the other firms to the continent, the Indian investment would be diverted to the EU. However, with Britain freed, of strict EU regulations, one can only hope that it will be easier for India to engage in business the fifth largest economy in the world.

• With the reactionary fall in the pound (at a 30 year low), the Indian investors stand to gain in the short run as they can acquire property in the UK at a cheaper rate.

• India is a great investment destination from the emerging markets perspective. With the trade norms being dictated according to its own needs, UK is likely to invest more in India.

• Since one of the major reasons behind the exit was to control the immigration and have a tighter border control, more than anything else, skilled migration to Britain would take a hit. This will affect every aspect of Britain’s functioning – from academia to industries. Additionally, free movement is going to become a major issue in Europe after the exit of UK.

• Brexit proves that the forces of nationalism and sub-nationalism do not die out just because of the creation of free trading unions and common markets. Economic gains do not always trump social and cultural concerns. Trade does not erase xenophobia and bigotry, which lie just below the surface.

• Britain will probably spend another year or more trying to negotiate the exit. Like the immediate effects show, the resultant uncertainty is likely to damage growth, dent the pound sterling and slow down investment decisions in Britain. Taking an example of the companies, The Tata Group, which owns the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Tata Steel (former Corus Steel), will be affected by higher tariffs imposed by the EU against British imports.

brexit leave
Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

• The unravelling of the EU market means uncertainty, having an impact on the exports from all over the world. Studies extrapolate that the Brexit would reduce the British imports by 25% in the next two years. The volatility of the currency, both Pound and Euro, will have a negative impact on the exporters by making their products more competitive in the world market. However, it has been analysed that this effect would be short-lived for India’s trade with the UK and EU.

• The most worrying issue is that this exit might prompt other nations to go ahead with shifting the power back to the national governments in areas like immigration, while maintaining the trading union.

• Backed by about 62% of Scotland voting to stay in the EU, there is a looming possibility of a second independence referendum.

For the moment, it looks unlikely that the EU will disintegrate with Britain’s exit but it will certainly not be the same anymore. The EU will have a tough fight to keep its relevance at world forums.

The EU is changing; it will rest on Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union, on whether that change is for the better.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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