Kathmandu, June 24
Nepal is unlikely to remain immune to the political consequences of the United Kingdom’s exit from EU.
Its economic impact for Nepal might be not worrisome as we have limited trade and economic links with Britain. However, its political consequences might be larger and wider and would unfold gradually.
Ex-ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Dinesh Bhattarai told THT that the Brexit vote would lead to rise of nationalist, secessionist and extremist voices across the world, including Nepal.
“UK’s decision can boost confidence of radicals and fanatics of Nepal, who want to gain ground by hobbling cultural, ethnic and social harmony in the country,” he added. “The Brexit has put entire liberal order into question.”
As the country is facing challenges in implementing the new secular constitution, an upsurge of extremist and radical views may complicate things further.
Bibek Paudel, a political analyst based in Europe, is of the view that UK’s influence in Nepal and Nepali politics would diminish, as Brexit would restrict UK’s ability to lend development support to Nepal.
The UK is one of the largest donors to Nepal.
Historian Ramesh Dhungel said implication of UK’s pulling out from EU was not good for Nepal. “If countries like UK and USA start taking such a turn, hope for stronger regional cooperation and world peace will fade,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Nishchal Nath Pandey, director, Centre for South Asian Studies, said Brexit could mean less remittance from British Gurkha soldiers due to falling value of pound, besides fall in number of Nepali students getting UK visa for higher education due to stringent visa policy.
The EU is considered one of the most successful models in regional cooperation. If it failed to deliver and ended up in disintegration, it would only discourage cooperation under regional forums, including SAARC.
A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.