British expats suffering more every week from crashing pound

Published:  3 Sep at 6 PM
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As the British parliament reassembles for the fight of its life, expats and holidaymakers get slight relief as sterling temporarily stabilises, albeit at a low rate.

Ever since the so-called ‘election’ of Boris Johnson as the UK’s latest prime minister, the slide of the pound against the euro and a host of other currencies has continued amidst doom-laden projections of its final fate after a no-deal Brexit. It seems as if every time Johnson makes yet another upper class-accented statement, more British expatriates get less foreign currency for every British pound. As yet, those with high earnings, generous private pensions or indecent amounts of cash in the bank aren’t affected, but British retirees both in the UK and across other worldwide expat destinations are getting less and less cash for each pound they exchange.

Last week’s suspension of parliament was yet another blow for British expats, with the coming week expected to make matters worse unless a miracle occurs. The day-by-day worsening of the sterling exchange rate is hurting Britons who moved overseas for a cheaper quality of life and who now see their plans torn to pieces by political manoeuvering in the home country. Holidaymakers who’ve saved all year for a few weeks in the sun are also affected, with their carefully hoarded spends now worth far less than last year, especially as cost of living increases are taking place in the majority of popular European destinations. There’s only one certainty, whichever form of Brexit gets finally adopted – sterling will take several years at the very least to recover to its former strength.

If a no-deal Brexit is the final result of the past three years’ chaos, the pound will simply crash and take far longer to recover as Britain’s economy grinds to a halt or gets taken over by Trump’s America. In the meantime, British pensioners in Europe who’ve found a way to stay will be forced to choose between cutting back to the bare necessities or returning to a home country divided as it’s not been for decades, if ever. This week in British politics is expected to become an argument about democracy, a system which British people, wherever they’ve lived, have been proud of for generations and which is now under threat.
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