British expats growing ever more concerned about their futures as UK citizens

Published:  18 Jun at 6 PM
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Concerns are growing amongst the already insecure British expat population in Ireland, as well as within the communities in France, the Netherlands and Germany.

A recent study compared the views of British expats living in EU member states with those prevalent amongst Britons living in the home country. Expats in Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands are amongst those expected to bear the brunt of changes brought about by Britain’s leaving the EU. Over half of expat respondents to the survey admitted they were worried about their rights as expats regarding citizenship in their present country of residence. Replies from Britons living in Commonwealth countries also showed concern, leading to the possibility of a trigger effect for a rush to obtain foreign citizenship before next October.

The threat of financial hardship as a result of a no-deal Brexit is another cause of fear amongst UK expats overseas, especially as an economic downturn is now expected to occur immediately after the EU/UK divorce is completed. The loudest call from respondents was for clarity in order to be able to protect what’s theirs from being lost during the financial mayhem now being predicted. Some are already taking actions such as moving their investments to low-risk products, with over three-quarters of those surveyed stating the British economy as a whole will worsen over the next 12 months.

Inflation is a major concern, especially for those at present living and working in Ireland, along with the prediction of a post-Brexit sterling crash. Brit expats in Ireland have the most worries due to the country’s economic ties to Britain as well as possible violence along the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Many are paying off credit card and other debts, and a good number are considering changing or delaying their retirement plans or even giving up their British citizenship in order to retain their rights to free movement.
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