UK expats in Beijing worry about Brexit effects

Published:  30 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
International expats living and working in Beijing are increasingly concerned about the short- and long-term effects of Britain’s leaving the European Union.

UK expats in Beijing and China’s other major cities are in a state of anxiety and uncertainty ever since the shock waves resulting from the Brexit win reverberated across the planet. Although everything’s in a state of flux right now, the possible future implications need to be studied.

The big question being asked by expats in China as well as across the rest of the world is ‘Why on earth did this happen ’. Put simply, although that’s hardly possible right now, a combination of less than honest campaigning by both sides, an unjustifiable rise in nationalism and disillusionment over the EU itself produced a gut reaction unsuitable for such a serious subject within Britain’s less privileged sector. Input from manipulative political egos and the desire to become the UK’s prime minister didn’t help.

‘What happens now’ is another question on UK expat minds in Beijing and across China’s main commercial hubs, with the only answer being, ‘not a lot – at least for a while’. No clear plan for the ex-EU future was given by the leaders of either campaign, especially on the financial front. In spite of pressure from EU leaders, David Cameron is refusing to invoke Article 50, leaving it to his as yet undecided successor.

Calls for a general election are increasing and , although neither party seems to want this, it may be the trigger for another, equally unpopular, referendum over the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. At present, the effects of Brexit on Britons living and working in China are mostly financial.

It’s good news for those being paid in RMB and sending money back to the UK and bad for those being paid in sterling as well as those with investments, savings and pensions at home. Those with UK buy-to-let properties are likely to see a fall in their worth

.As regards the relationship between the UK and China, Premier Li Keqiang wants the present strong ties to continue. Once the UK is out of the EU, however, Chinese companies won’t be so keen to invest. Finally, the elephant in the room at present being totally ignored by the UK government is that the referendum result is not legally binding.

One face-saving way out would be that a very early general election is called, with one side running on a Remain ticket. Should they win, the referendum result could be nullified, leaving everything to return to what’s considered normal.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive