The answer is, yes. A survey has concluded that 34% of British expats are already planning on saying goodbye to their home country due to Britain’s looming EU exit.
After moving abroad over a third of British Expats have said they are already in the process of or are planning to seek citizenship or permanent residency in another country because of Brexit. In addition to this over half of British citizens that are currently living elsewhere are worried about their citizenship rights as an expat.
The ‘B’ word is turning the UK into a country full of dual citizens with thousands of Britons claiming the UK no longer feels like home.
It seems that Brexit is making British expats seek citizenship they may not seek if Brexit wasn’t impending.
A record amount of Britons have sought Irish passports since the UK voted to leave the EU and this has been understood as a bid to avoid hassle at airports.
There’s been a stampede of panicked Britons that have produced proof of Irish relatives in order to get an Irish passport so that no matter what happens with Brexit they can still travel freely throughout Europe. Those without Irish heritage are still seeking Irish citizenship but instead are moving there and planning on staying. There has been over a 30% increase in applications for Irish passports in comparison to the previous year.
France has been accused of stalling British expats residency applications using excuses such as ‘all applications have been suspended until the Brexit outcome is known’ and ‘you are not able to apply’.
With a no-deal Brexit becoming increasingly likely British expats living in France have become concerned and have been attempting to apply for a residency permit. However, French officials have been refusing these applications.
Cyprus, however, is in the process of preparing legislation that will allow Britons living in the country a grace period of one year to sort out their residency status in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This has come as a relief to the 70,000 British expats living in Cyprus.
Spain has also advised British expats not to worry as there will be a 21-month grace period in which every Briton living in the country will be considered a legal resident even without the official certification. This will give them enough time to sort out their permanent residency should a no-deal Brexit occur.
There’s still so much uncertainty around what is going to happen when it comes to Brexit and how it will affect expats and travel to EU countries in general. However, these grace periods are being implemented by more and more countries putting expat minds a little bit more at ease.