Survey notes depression and stress amongst UK and EU expats alike

Published:  28 Mar at 6 PM
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Tomorrow is the point of no return for the UK in Europe, as Theresa May activates Article 50 and effectively ends decades of being part of a Greater Europe.

Since the referendum result was announced last June, concerns about many aspects of the divorce from the EU have been raised, especially by those most affected by Brexit. Today, the results of two parallel polls were revealed, confirming that both EU and UK expatriates in equal measure fear their lives are being threatened. More than 80 per cent of the 1900 respondents who took part in the two studies were in agreement that Brexit was a serious threat to stability and economic factors in the UK.

More than a third of British expats stated the referendum result had already had a significant impact on their lives, and the same question posed to EU expats in the UK had similar results. Worryingly, an alarming number of those surveyed admitted the situation was affecting their mental health. Many respondents admitted to depression and stress symptoms caused by the almost total lack of concrete information about their futures.

Other reasons for serious stress symptoms included the unpredictable effects of Brexit on their lifestyles, careers and childrens’ education combined with strong feelings of no longer feeling welcome in the host country and even the effects of racist incidents. One EU expat respondent reported verbal attacks and accusations of taking jobs from British citizens, with another saying his car had been vandalised more than once and he’d been sacked from his job.

British expats living in European countries noted they’d seen a change of attitude amongst local people who’d formerly been friendly and helpful, whilst others were embarrassed and scared about increasing nationalism in the UK. Some four million expats across the UK and Europe are certain to be affected by Brexit, with Britons in Portugal reckoned to be the least vulnerable due to the historically strong ties between the two countries.
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