No deal Brexit causing concern in British Overseas Territories

Published:  30 Sep at 6 PM
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As the clock ticks down to October 31, Britons, expats and businesses in the British Overseas Territories are growing more concerned by the day.

Unless a miracle occurs, the UK’s 20 overseas territories are as much at risk of dramatic consequences following a no-deal exit as is the UK itself. For example, residents on the Caribbean island of Anguilla weren’t allowed to vote in the 2016 referendum, even although trade with the neighbouring French Overseas Territory island of St Martin in essential products including fresh water will be blocked. Worse still, much of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma has not yet been repaired, with many schools and homes as yet in ruins. The EU is a major financial donor, and many residents are now in favour of independence from Britain.

Also unable to vote were Brits on the Falklands islands, expected to be hard hit by customs duty on fish, its major export trade to Spain, as well as on its international sales of tallow, wool and livestock. Business as well as the everyday lives of British expats in Gibraltar is expected to be severely affected by a no-deal Brexit as the Rock is dependent economically on Spain. Some 15,000 people daily cross the border to their jobs in Spain and 10,000 Spaniards arrive daily to work on the Rock.

The archipelago containing both the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey is another region due to suffer from a hard Brexit. Best known as tax havens, the three islands may not be protected by the UK from EU manipulation resulting in a loss of their controversial business model following a no-deal departure. Major offshore insurance companies based on the islands could well be affected, with expat savers becoming concerned as to the safety of their pensions, savings and other investments.
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