GDP, Brexit - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Britain's House of Commons approved the bill to start exit talks with _____________

a. EU
b. Ireland
c. Wales
d. Scotland
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: EU

Explanation:
Britain's House of Commons gave its final approval on 7th Feb 2017 to a bill authorizing the government to start exit talks with the European Union.

This is despite fears by opposition lawmakers that the UK is setting out on the rocky path to Brexit with a sketchy roadmap.

But the decisive 494-122 result was another big step on Britain's road to the EU exit door.

The bill now goes to the House of Lords, which has the power to delay - but not to derail - the legislation.

It should become law within weeks.

Lawmakers had backed the bill by a 498-114 margin during an earlier vote last week.

It came after three days of debate. In this, opposition lawmakers tried to pass amendments guaranteeing Parliament a bigger role in the divorce process.

Also emphasised was setting rules for the government's negotiations with the 27 other EU nations.

Pro-EU lawmakers had hoped to prevent an economy-shocking "hard Brexit," in which Britain loses full access to the EU's single market and faces restrictions or tariffs on trade.

One amendment would have committed the government to continuing tariff-free trade with the EU.

Another sought to guarantee the residency rights of EU citizens already living in Britain.

Yet another called for a new referendum on the eventual divorce terms.

All were defeated, as pro-EU lawmakers from Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party backed the government despite their reservations.

The government didn't want to let Parliament debate the bill that passed recently at all.

It was forced to introduce the legislation after a Supreme Court ruling torpedoed May's effort to start the process of leaving the 28-nation bloc without a parliamentary vote.

Most British lawmakers backed the losing "remain" side in last year's EU membership referendum, but voted to trigger Brexit out of respect for voters' wishes.

The bill is likely to face further challenges in the House of Lords.

The government wants to pass the bill through Parliament by early March and trigger Article 50 of the EU's key treaty - starting a two-year divorce process - by March 31.


2)   British MPs have voted ________ Brexit.

a. Against
b. For
c. Abstain
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: For

Explanation:
Members voted by 498 to 114 to support the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

This gives the government the parliamentary approval necessary to trigger Article 50, which gives the EU member-states a two-year period to withdraw.

The government was forced to bring in legislation before Parliament following a Supreme Court verdict last month, which held that the executive’s prerogative was not sufficient.

While MPs of different parties may attempt to bring amendments to the Bill at later stages, the government is likely to be able to keep to its Brexit timetable.

With Labour and the Conservative party backing legislation, it fell to rebels and other parties to oppose the Bill.

While many Conservatives have been critical of the government’s approach in the run-up to legislation, opposition within the party melted away.

Only Ken Clarke, a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, to oppose the Bill at its second reading.

Former Chancellor George Osborne, warned of a constitutional crisis if the House did not pass legislation.

Labour’s position - which has been to support legislation, but push for reforms to ensure single market access and protections for workers - has drawn criticism from across parties.

The vote is, of course, not the end of the road.

Legislation will now have to pass to the committee stage where amendments to legislation will be considered and then voted on.


3)   UK unveiled the 12 point plan for implementing Brexit deal within how many years in phased manner?

a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2

Explanation:
United Kingdom unveiled her 12-point plan to leave European Union.

This is for implementing Brexit deal within two years in phased manner.

The priorities include:

  • Control over immigration;
  • Securing the rights of EU citizens in Britain;
  • Committing to retain workers’ rights;
  • Building a strong trading relationship with EU and rest of the world;
  • Removing Britain from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice; and
  • Making Britain an attractive place for investors and students.
In June 2016 referendum, UK had voted to leave the EU (a single market and the customs union with the 28-nation economic bloc). The vote was by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%.


4)   Which UK ambassador to EU resigned before Brexit negotiations on 3rd Jan 2016?

a. Sir Ivan Rogers
b. Kim Darroch
c. Anwar Choudhary
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sir Ivan Rogers

Explanation:
The UK ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers on 3rd Jan 2016 unexpectedly resigned from the post weeks after Brexit negotiations with the economic bloc.

Senior diplomat Rogers was expected to lead Brexit negotiations with the economic bloc but said instead that leaving the EU could take up to 10 years.

Labour MP Hilary Benn is the chair of the UK Parliament Brexit Select Committee and said this will obstruct the handover.

Rogers was at the post of United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union (UKRep).

This post represents the UK in negotiations that take place in the EU.

The team is sourced from 20 UK govt departments to ensure UK policies are explained to:

  • EU member states
  • European Commission
  • European parliament

  • The civil servant was set to leave his post in Nov 2017, but is stepping down earlier.

    Brexit

  • PM May announced invocation of A50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
  • Official talks as per this treaty will be conducted on Brexit.

  • Organisations advocating and campaigning for a referendum:

  • People's Pledge Labour for a Referendum

  • Leave:

  • Vote Leave (official lead group)
  • Business for Britain Conservatives for Britain Students for Britain Labour Leave Leave.EU
  • Bpoplive (cancelled) Grassroots Out Get Britain Out The Freedom Association
  • Better Off Out
  • Other anti-EU advocacy organisations :
  • Bruges Group Campaign for an Independent Britain

    Remain:
  • Britain Stronger in Europe (official lead group) Labour In for Britain European Movement UK
  • Other pro-EU advocacy organisations:
  • Britain in Europe
  • British Influence Business for New Europe
  • New Europeans Nucleus


5)   CSO has announced that India’s GDP has accelerated in Q2 (2016-2017) to what percent?

a. 7.1
b. 7.2
c. 7.3
d. 7.4
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 7.3

Explanation:
Central Statistical Office on 30th Nov 2016 announced India’s GDP accelerated to 7.3 percent in the second quarter of 2016-2017. This is up from a provisional 7.1 percent expansion in Q1.

Gross Value Added rose to 7.1 percent.

GDP growth accelerated in the second quarter from 7.1 percent, but GVA growth slowed 7.3 percent in that period.

Both GDP and GVA growth were slower in this Q2 compared to 2015-2016’s Q2. The Q2 of 2015-2016 showed a GDP growth of 7.6 percent and GVA growth of 7.3 percent.

The agriculture sector maintained the overall growth by registering a 3.3 percent GVA growth rate in Q2 of this financial year in comparison with 2 percent in Q2 of 2015-16.

The manufacturing sector saw considerable slowdown as it registered GVA growth of 7.1 percent in Q2 of this financial year as against 9.2 percent in 2015-2016’s Q2.

The mining and quarrying sector growth fell by 1.5 percent in Q2 compared with the contraction of 0.4 percent in the first quarter and a growth of 5 percent in Q2 of 2015-16.

Sectors like manufacturing, electricity, mining, services and others show a fall in the September quarter because they are not supported by demand.

Except for agriculture, public administration and construction, drop in outputs across all sectors took place.

Gross fixed capital formation equalled 29 percent of GDP in this Q2 compared to 32.9 percent in the previous year’s Q2.

Government final consumption expenditure was 13 percent of GDP in this Q2 compared to 12.1 percent in the earlier year. GFCE grew 18.8 percent in this Q1 and 15.2 percent in this Q2.

Government’s Capital Expenditure (Plan and Non Plan) fell 12.81 percent to INR 129459 crore as against INR 143329 crore a year back.

What is GDP?

GDP: Monetary value of all finished goods and services produced in a country in a certain time period. It is generally calculated on annual basis; it can be computed on quarterly basis as well.

It is a broad measurement of nation’s overall economic activity.

GDP = Private consumption+ Public consumption+ Government outlays+ Investments + Exports - Imports.

Where, GDP = C + G + I + NX

  • C = all private consumption, or consumer spending
  • G = sum of government spending,
  • I = sum of all the country's investment, including businesses capital expenditures and
  • NX is the nation's total net exports, calculated as total exports minus total imports (NX = Exports - Imports).


6)   EU’s Jean Claude Juncker has appointed whom as the Brexit negotiator?

a. Michel Barnier
b. Nick Clegg
c. Frederic Barnier
d. Jean Barnier
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Michel Barnier

Explanation:
Taking a tough stand, EU chief Jean Claude Juncker appointed well known anti Brit eurocrat former commissioner Michel Barnier as the Brexit negotiator in what is being seen as alarming for UK.

  • Federalist Frenchman had tried to enforce a tax on all financial transactions and hit bankers with punitive bonus caps.
  • EU Commission Chief has also demanded Britain should trigger Article 50 to begin formal departure as soon as possible.
  • Ministers saw the hiring as a move to outdo Donald Tusk, the EU Council president.
  • Barnier is the former internal markets commissioner and was recently a special adviser to Juncker on defence.
  • The 65-year old Barnier held a position of internal markets commissioner from 2009-2014.


7)   Which country is running the world’s largest current account surplus post Brexit?

a. France
b. Germany
c. UK
d. Ireland
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Germany

Explanation:
Brexit will have a muted impact on India, according to Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramaniam. The economy cannot achieve 8-10 percent growth without an outward oriented strategy.

  • He also said economic growth is still above 7 percent despite exports falling for the past 17 months and India is the services sector powerhouse.
  • Subramaniam indicated India can achieve 15 percent export growth and can raise service export from 0.2 to 1.5 percent.
  • He also said Germany is running the world’s largest current account surplus


8)   Which pro Brexit campaigner resigned as head of UKIP?

a. Theresa May
b. Boris Johnson
c. Nigel Farage
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nigel Farage

Explanation:
Britain’s main pro-Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage on 4th July resigned as head of far right anti immigrant UK Independence Party saying he could not achieve more after Britons decided to leave the EU.

  • Farage was elected as Member of the European Parliament for the party in 1999
  • Farage led a separate grassroots campaign to convince voters of Brexit to make numerous speeches in wake of results to declare June 23 Britain’s Independence Day
  • Cross party tea would negotiate UK”s exit from Brussels now.
  • June 23 was the date when the 28 member economic bloc was voted against by Britain with 52 percent voting to leave while 48 percent sided with the remain camp


9)   British Labour Party lawmaker voted against their leader on 28th June amidst Brexit and resulting political turmoil in the wake of it. Who is he?

a. Boris Johnson
b. Jeremy Corbyn
c. Stephen Crabb
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jeremy Corbyn

Explanation:
British Labour Party lawmakers voted massively against their leader on 28th June amidst political turmoil in Britain after the vote to leave the EU was a candidate to succeed PM David Cameron voted for power

  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn lost the non binding confidence motion with 172 voting against him of a total of 229 Labour lawmakers in the House of Commons Lower House
  • Pro-EU finance minister George Osborne ruled himself out on Tuesday when British media said that the Work and Pensions Minister Stephen Crabb, unknown to the British public is said to put his name forward
  • Former London mayor Boris Johnson is also a crowd favourite with Theresa May reportedly seeking support for a rival bid that has been called the “Stop Boris”campaign


10)   India Ratings and Research has revised FY17 estimates of CAD from 1.2 percent to how much?

a. 1.3-1.4
b. 1.4-1.5
c. 1.3-1.5
d. 1.3-1.6
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1.3-1.5

Explanation:
Ind-Ra lowered FY2017 CAD estimate to 1.3-1.5 percent from 1.2 percent due to lower remittances and software earnings in forth quarter for current fiscal. India’s CAD narrowed sharply to USD 0.3 billion/o/1 percent of GDP in Q4, FY2016 from USD 7.1 billion or 1.3 percent in Q3 on account of lower trade gap.

  • For the 2015-2016 fiscal, CAD or the difference in the in and outflow of foreign exchange fell to 1.1 percent of the GDP
  • Low CAD indicates stability on the external front. On the one hand, low crude prices and collapse in global prices of commodities have resulted in lower trade deficit
  • Low oil prices have caused Middle East economies to suffer as well.
  • Remittances on private transfers fell to USD 63.1 billion in 2015-2016


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