How Will Brexit Change Expat Life in the UK

Since the EU referendum was decided in 2016, much uncertainty has followed. However, as the official withdrawal date looms nearer and nearer, people are steadily growing more confident with their predicted outcomes. One area where this is particularly true is in how expats will come to live in the UK post-Brexit.

While some are joyously optimistic over Brexit, others aren’t so unconvinced, and these consist mostly of expats. What challenges await them? Can they be overcome?

Consequently, here’s how Brexit will change expat life in the UK.

Travel Disruptions

The Eurostar was a prime source of transportation for EU nationals traveling to and from the UK, and indeed, for British people heading overseas too. It was an integral link of transport that kept the UK and the EU firmly connected, uniting their peoples and enabling people to travel back and forth between London, Paris and Amsterdam to name a few critical places.

However, it has been reported that a no deal Brexit will heavily disrupt the Eurostar’s transportation services, and it’s even been said that the government has advised passengers take up travel insurance to enjoy continued usage. While this might seem like something of a minor quibble, it certainly sets a poor precedent for relations between the UK and EU, and how each will be less accessible to the other.

Continued Uncertainty

Obviously, for the moment few things are crystal clear. While fear mongering is never helpful, most people aren’t too optimistic about the state of things for expat once Brexit is underway. Many banks are moving their EU headquarters from London to Frankfurt in anticipation of a no deal, while the Bank of England has issued numerous warnings that house prices will crash in the event of a no deal Brexit occurring.  

Most people’s answer at the minute is to leave, rather than muddle through and find a workable solution. Obviously, for expats in the UK, a lack of productive and practical guidance is deeply concerning. Brexit has likely changed many foreigner’s perception of the UK and made them think that Britain will not pay equal heed to their needs.

Best Before Brexit

EU nationals are being told by expert immigration lawyers to secure permanent UK residences before Brexit goes through. The gates are closing, borders are being enforced, and anymore EU nationals will likely be among the last to trickle in for a good while. Expats can apply for permanent residence documents, but whether or not they’re successful as the years roll by is anyone’s guess.

While those who have already settled have previously been promised that they shouldn’t be disturbed too greatly after Brexit is enacted, newcomers will face different circumstances with an economy that fluctuates so dramatically. Moreover, would many expats even feel welcome under this climate? If the numbers don’t look good and no common ground is being found, there’s a good chance the UK won’t be anywhere near as appealing to expats as it once was in prior years.