The Hindu Editorial Analysis 

QUESTION : How did BREXIT impact United Kingdom and it has brought a significant change in world politics ? Analyse. 

  • EU And Aftermath of BREXIT 
  • The Brexiteers who forecast a clean break with the European Union underestimated many key issues. 
  • The British referendum five years ago was supposed to settle the United Kingdom’s historical love-hate relationship with Europe.
  • The referendum dominates British politics as the most significant event since the Second World War, resulting in two general elections, ousting two premiers and threatening the political geography of the U.K.
  • The International Monetary Fund warned that the British economy faced a 10% GDP decline in 2020.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, food and drink exports to the EU declined by nearly 50% and export of services also shrank.
  • At least 500 British companies have relocated to Europe.
  • The Brexiteers who forecast a clean break with the EU either underestimated or ignored the practical inconveniences of leaving, including: 
  • The vast paperwork involved in exporting and importing with the EU.
  • The success of the British COVID-19 vaccination compared with the EU’s bungled efforts has enabled Brexiteers to claw back some ground.
The loose ends of Britain’s exit from the EU:
• In need of a rapid departure from the European Union (EU), and the Withdrawal and Trade and Cooperation Agreements of December 2020 were rushed through caused many problems such as:
The U.K. imports 70% of the fish it consumes:
• The industry only contributes 0.12% of GDP and employs 0.1% of the workforce but has political traction.
• In May, after 60 French fishing boats massed to blockade Jersey over fishing rights, naval units from both Britain and France deployed off Jersey.
• Northern Ireland, part of the U.K. but in the EU’s single market, and therefore obliged to follow EU rules, is another case in point.
• The EU’s external border would be in the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland, and goods for Northern Ireland would need to be inspected there, which is politically objectionable for the U.K.
o The alternative would be that: 
 The EU would itself impose inspections to protect its single market and structure a border either on the island of Ireland or between Ireland and the EU, which are both equally unfeasible.
• Tensions predictably arose between Britain and the EU over the import of chilled meat products from Britain to Northern Ireland
• In the G-7 summit, when bilateral meetings between Britain and EU leaders lacked warmth.
• In Scotland, the National Party, which seeks an exit from the U.K., has grown in popularity since the Brexit vote. 
• Scots voted in the referendum by 62% against 38% to remain in the EU but were dragged out by the overall result.
• For many Scots, leaving the U.K. is the clearest path back to the EU.
• Among other benefits, it is anticipated that the EU will grant Scotland the least developed status and subventions on the scale enjoyed by the Irish Republic.
• It is the abbreviation of British Exit from the European Union (EU). Britain has had a troubled relationship with the EU since the beginning and has made various attempts in the past to break away from it.
• The EU is a political, trade and economic union founded in 1957. It evolved over the decades and reached its present model in 1992.
• There are 51 countries in Europe, out of which 28 countries have signed a treaty to become a part of the European Union.
• The EU treaty provided for a European Parliament and European Council which consisted of representatives of the member states.
• EU members account for 16 percent of world imports and exports. It is the largest trading bloc in the world surpassing the US.
• India is one of the top investors in the UK.
• Together, the UK and Europe account for over a quarter of the country’s IT exports, worth around $30bn.
• The UK is the third-largest source of foreign direct investment in India and India’s largest G20 investor.
• India is the third-largest source of FDI to the UK in terms of the number of projects. India invests more in the UK than in the rest of Europe combined, emerging as the UK’s third-largest FDI investor.
• The key sectors attracting Indian investment include healthcare, agritech, food, and drink.
• But, the UK is only India’s 12th largest trade partner, well behind other European countries such as Germany and Switzerland. 
Most people have accepted Brexit though few are satisfied with the divorce settlement. No version of Brexit will satisfy everyone, and it has left the United Kingdom less united.

QUESTION : Evaluate the rationale behind the introduction of the ‘Right to Repair’ movement and  mention some key benefits in reference to a nation . 

  • Right To Repair Movement 
In recent years, countries around the world have been attempting to pass effective ‘right to repair’ laws. 
• Recently, the US President signed an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to curb restrictions imposed by manufacturers that limit consumers’ ability Awareness to repair their gadgets on their own terms. 
• The UK introduced right-to-repair rules that should make it much easier to buy and repair daily-use gadgets such as TVs and washing machines.
o Right to repair is the legal concept that allows consumers to repair the products they buy or choose their own service providers instead of going through the manufacturer. 
o The goal of the movement is to get companies to make spare parts, tools and information on how to repair devices available to customers and repair shops to increase the lifespan of products and to keep them from ending up in landfills. 
o ORIGINS : The movement traces its roots back to the very dawn of the computer era in the 1950s.
o The Right to Repair concept originated from the USA, specifically from the automotive industry.  
o Manufacturing an electronic device is a highly polluting process. It makes use of polluting sources of energy, such as fossil fuel, which has an adverse impact on the environment.
o Electronic manufacturers are encouraging a culture of ‘planned obsolescence’.
o It means that devices are designed specifically to last a limited amount of time and to be replaced. 
o This leads to immense pressure on the environment and wasted natural resources
• Avoids wastage of resources: Without Right to Repair, there will be wastage of natural resources causing immense pressure on the environment. It will help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste (e-waste) that piles up each year on the continent.
• Boosts Local Economy: Right to repair advocates also argue that this will help boost business for small repair shops, which are an important part of local economies.
• Reduces Prices of Repair: If a manufacturer has monopoly on repairs, then prices rise exponentially and quality tends to drop. Repair manual in the market will bring down the cost of offering such a service.
• Circular Economy: It will contribute to circular economy objectives by improving the life span, maintenance, re-use, upgrade, recyclability and waste handling of appliances.
• Durable devices:  Some believe manufacturers of electronic devices may even start making their products more durable and long lasting. 
o Large tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Tesla, have been lobbying against the right to repair. 
o Their argument is that opening up their intellectual property to third party repair services or amateur repairers could lead to exploitation and impact the safety and security of their devices.
• India generated 708,445 tonne e-waste in 2017-18. In 2019-20, the figure rose 32 per cent to 1,014,961 tonnes, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
• India collected just 10 percent of the electronic waste (e-waste) estimated to have been generated in the country 2018-19.
o  E-Waste Management Rules 2016: These Rules enable recovery and/or reuse of useful material from e-waste, thereby reducing the hazardous wastes. They provide for friendly handling, transporting, storing, and recycling of e-waste.
o Concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR):  It means the manufacturers of electric and electronic equipment must facilitate their collection and return it to authorised dismantlers.
o E-Waste Clinic : Aimed at segregating, processing and disposal of waste.
• There is growing pressure on manufacturers around the world to allow consumers the right to repair their own devices.
• United States
o Recently, the US President signed an executive order to encourage economic competition which directed the Federal Trade Commission to force tech companies and manufacturers to allow consumers to repair their own devices – either by themselves or using a technician of third party repair shops. The farmers and cell phone manufacturers were specifically concentrated.
o With this, some believe manufacturers of electronic devices may even start making their products more durable and long-lasting.
o As of 2021, almost all the 50 US states have proposed a right to repair bill, however, only one, Massachusetts, has made it a law.
o Europe
o The UK government also introduced right-to-repair rules with the aim of extending the lifespan of products by up to 10 years.
o The new legislation gives manufacturers a two-year gestation period to make the necessary changes to abide by the new legislation.
o The aim is to reduce electrical waste, which has been on the rise in the continent due to a spike in manufacturing 
   Such regulations could be beneficial in a country like India, where service networks are often unavailable and authorised workshops are few. 
 India’s informal repair sector provides earnings for an overwhelming majority of the skilled population. The government should set up well organized spaces and facilities to create a repair plaza to encourage these tradesmen.

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