As the date and time for Brexit were announced (11pm on March 29th 2019) by David Davis in November of last year, expats residing in the UK and Europe felt more confused that ever. With little set in stone, speculation is rife and expats living and working in the UK are fearful about their futures.
As a result of nearly 19 months of lacking information, expat’s trust in the UK handling their finances has deteriorated considerably. Every year the leading network for expats, InterNations, release their Expat Insider Survey. The research was gathered from 12,500 expats, covering 166 nationalities, and provides a unique insight into life as an expat in 2017.
The latest study covered 65 countries, with the UK falling to 54th place overall, dropping 21 places from the country’s 2016 result, showing an overall decline in faith from expats. Compared to 2016, the UK fell in all survey categories but performed particularly poorly in the personal finance index, settling in 59th place. Many expats commented that the weakening of the pound and rising inflation was to blame for this result.
With the everyday cost of living in the UK increasing with little respite, expats are also worried about their investments in the UK. Those that own a property, have savings in a UK bank, or receive a pension are unsure of the effect that Brexit will have. Currently, the pound is experiencing an eight-year low against the euro, which is causing distresses amongst those living and working in the UK as they see the UK’s financial market as unstable.
Experts predict that should there be a hard Brexit, that the pound will devalue further. This means any assets expats hold in the UK will plummet in terms of international value.
Brexit and Business Mobility
On top of these financial concerns, fewer Brits are being relocated abroad by employers due to future problems post-Brexit. Just two years ago, 13% of all overseas roles were for British professionals working in foreign headquarter for UK based companies. However, 2017 saw this dip to 9%, and it is not expected to improve due to unanswered questions regarding future foreign bureaucracy. Companies are understandably reluctant to take any risks when so little is concrete.
Despite uncertainty, the UK claims it is business as usual despite theories and speculation over its position when March 2019 arrives.
However bleak Brexit seems in terms of employee movement from the UK, it could help with international movement related to business for smaller countries.