Pre-Brexit, there were numerous comments and threats made by large global institutions that suggested they would relocate to other European or US-based locations should the UK vote to leave the EU. Whilst this rhetoric still exists in some camps, it has dampened somewhat. This suggests that company relocation isn’t as much a threat as before.
Although a macro move may not be on the cards, what does Brexit mean for you as an individual looking for opportunities abroad? There are two fundamental questions to ask yourself if you are considering a move: 1) Why would you consider looking to emigrate to another country? And 2) Where to?
Based on recent economic data and general sentiment, the UK has weathered the post-Brexit storm relatively well. The financial markets seemed to have recovered, with various reports suggesting that the impact hasn’t been as deep as expected. So, if your rationale to move abroad is based on the concerns over the outlook of the UK’s financial services sector, it would be premature to make that decision now.
If you are considering looking to relocate to another EU jurisdiction, what would happen if negotiations around the free movement of people were to fail? Of course this wouldn’t be the case if you were to move to a non-EU nation such as the US or Asia, but then there would be other factors to consider.
Personal situation is another major factor to consider. Millennials are often recognised as a social group who are more likely to move freely from one country to another considering their limited commitments back at home. With the rising cost of buying or renting property, London is becoming too expensive for post graduates to live. One option therefore, is to live elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you are a family person looking to relocate, you need to consider the cost of moving, housing and, more importantly, schooling. Whilst the educational systems in other EU locations are arguably as reputable as the UK, would you be able to find appropriate schools willing to take on additional students? If there is capacity to take on new English speaking students, should there be an influx of families looking to do the same, the limited amount of spaces available could become problematic.
Then there is the cultural aspect of the international location. Are you familiar with local values and customs? Are you someone who is able to adapt or do you find change naturally difficult? Do you have a passion and understanding of the local delicacies and lifestyle?
As you can see, it isn’t as simple as waking up one morning and saying “I’ve decided, I think am going to live and work in another country”!
Hakan Enver is operations director at Morgan McKinley