Turnaround migrant Brits rush back to the UK

Published:  27 Feb at 6 PM
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An emerging trend of short-stay migration to Australia prompts an enquiry into why so many UK migrants to the land of sun, space, barbecues and bushlands rush back to chilly Britain.

Unlike in the last century, many thousands of Brits who’ve emigrated to Australia to start a new life in the sun are packing up and returning to the country they hated when they left. Between 2005 and 2010, over 100,000 UK migrants settled in Australia, with 30,000 deciding to return home, and by 2009/2010, 86,000 were leaving, the highest emigration figure since records began.

With Australia enjoying a boom, the reasons given for leaving are hard to understand given the state of the UK since the financial crisis shocked the world. Reasons given by returnees discussing the trend on an internet forum included the macho culture, the cliquey nature of communities, the heat, dumbing down and awful drivers.

Australian TV was universally disliked, as was the Aussie habit of gossiping over the garden fence, once a favourite occupation of housewives in the UK but apparently unacceptable in the 21st century. British men, it seems, dislike the country for its lack of British pub culture, and those not obsessed with cricket found there wasn’t much to talk about.

The fast-increasing cost of living is deterring many UK retiree expats who left the UK for financial reasons and now find they need to return as pension increases are not paid in Australia. Boredom is another reason often given, with cultural events only freely available to those who live in large conurbations.

Whatever the reasons, another trend is emerging – returning expats are getting a serious dose of present-day UK reality, turning around and heading straight back to Australia again. Even those few who missed being part of Europe are giving up quality TV and giving the other side of the world another try.
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