The objective of the roundtable is to understand the challenges faced by two Prime Ministers, one a neighbour and the other a country that has a significant diaspora and considered a second home by many Indians, in the forthcoming referendum/elections in the country.
Brexit is approaching its final stages, though the separation of UK from the EU is still unclear. It seems certain that whatever the outcome, Prime Minister May will have problems in winning support of the parliament, which may lead to a leadership challenge and new elections. Brexit will affect not only Europe but all countries in terms of trade, investments and immigration policies.
Prime Minister Hasina must hold elections in the month of December. After 10 years in power and a healthy economy, she has to contend with anti-incumbency and allegations of misgovernment, corruption and abuse of human rights. Hasina has proved a good partner for India in security cooperation. If she fails to win, there could be adverse consequences for India's Northeast.
Brexit is the 2016 referendum where the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The residents decided that the benefits of belonging to the unified monetary body no longer outweighed the costs of free movement of immigration.
A hard Brexit means leaving the EU quickly with no restrictions other than a new free trade agreement. A soft Brexit would allow the UK to retain complete access to capital but restrict the flow of immigrants.
However, the main disadvantage of Brexit is that it will slow UK growth. The UK's Treasury Chief Philip Hammond reported that his country's growth would slow to 2.4 percent in 2018, 1.9 percent in 2019, and 1.6 percent in 2020. He forecasts that exit fees will cost an extra 3 million pounds over two years.
The 11th parliamentary election is likely to be held between December 20th to 23rd. Bangladesh elects on national level a legislature with one house or chamber. The unicameral Jatiyo Sangshad, meaning national parliament, has 350 members of which 300 members are directly elected through a national election for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies while 50 memberships are reserved for the women who are selected by the ruling party or coalition.
Krishnan Srinivasan is a diplomat, scholar and author. He was appointed to the Indian Foreign Service in May 1959. His early postings included Oslo, Beirut, Tripoli. He was India's Ambassador/High Commissioner to Zambia and Botswana, Nigeria, Benin and Cameroun, the Netherlands and Bangladesh. He was appointed Secretary and finally Foreign Secretary and retired in 1995. In 1995, he was appointed Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs in London where he served until 2002.
Professor James Myall is the Academic Advisor, Royal College of Defence Studies, and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Professor Myall has served as the National Service Officer in West Africa and in the British Civil Service for six years, including a period in the British High Commission in New Delhi. He later then started teaching International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science between 1966 and 1998. In June 1997, he was appointed as the first Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations at the University of Cambridge. He became Director of the Centre of International Studies in January 1999 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2001.