Brexit threat forcing skilled EU expats out of UK

Published:  5 Jul at 6 PM
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Skilled European professionals are leaving the UK ahead of the Brexit divorce and fewer EU citizens are seeking British jobs.

As Brexit negotiations continue, skilled worker relocation specialists in Europe are seeing a huge increase in requests for moves back to EU countries by foreign professionals at present working in the UK. It seems the result of last year’s referendum has created a strong market for highly qualified specialists wishing to return to the European mainland, according to a report from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Another report, compiled by law firm Baker McKenzie, shows over 50 per cent of skilled EU professionals employed in FTSE 250 companies are expected to pack up and leave the UK over the next two years. In addition, a Deloitte survey of 2,000 foreign workers in the UK indicates some 47 per cent of skilled EU citizens are expecting to relocate out of the UK within the next five years.

One Polish expat, working at the UK office of a global insurance company as an analyst, decided not to wait to find out how Brexit would affect her. After leaving her job, she was immediately recruited by a Prague e-commerce company and had received three job offers in the four weeks after she’d made her Brexit-influenced decision to leave the UK. It’s not just highly competent professionals’ decisions to relocate to Europe that’s threatening Britain’s post-Brexit future, it’s also the decrease in the numbers of the brightest and best from European countries heading for jobs in the UK.

One professor of economics at University College London told the media he believes the UK has lost its attraction for professionals from mainland Europe. Christian Dustmann, also the director of the think-tank Centre for Research and Analysis on Migration, notes that expat experts from longer-term EU member states are filling a British skills gap, especially in the financial sector.

One such EU expat, Polish carbon credits trader Marcin Czyza, is now based in Amsterdam, having seen the potential of relocating highly skilled EU nationals working in Brexit Britain. His new website, Expat Exit, was the result of endless enquiries from friends and acquaintances seeking work outside the UK. Realising the situation made valuable commodities out of disenchanted high-level employees, he created a lucrative new career for himself as well as helping others to move to more secure locations.
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