Indian trade body warns of unpredictable implications of Brexit

Brussels:  With Britain voting to leave the European Union, it will have unexpected and unpredictable implications for the bloc, warned Sunil Prasad, Secretary General of the Brussels-based Europe India Chamber of Commerce, on Friday. "The voting has dealt a serious blow to the unity and integrity of the EU. Britain is divided, EU is weakened and Brussels is broken," he said. Prasad said the vote will "definitely be a temporary setback for Indian companies with operations in the UK" but he asserted that this also opens new pathways for India to open bilateral trade negotiations with individual countries.  Indian companies will continue to command sizeable market share in the EU and there is no risk for trade barriers increasing, he opined. Prasad added that it is hard to believe if this is the end of the saga of the difficult times for the European Union. "With Europe's economic fortunes worsening and prospects for a rapid turnaround remaining elusive besides lack of coherent policies on migration and social malaise increasing, it was widely expected that Britain will say Goodbye to the European Union," he said. Prasad further said that in his view Britain was never a part of the EU in spirit or in letter as ever since it joined EU it always had a "negative" attitude and approach towards a united Europe, its policies and programmes. "I fear that many European countries who are dissatisfied or are concerned with EU's economic and migration policies will have the tendency to seek referendum on one pretext or the other. This poses a constant threat hanging over the unity and integrity of EU. There is also no guarantee that many other members of the EU will not apply force on EU to have their way," the Indian economist added.