More than a third of British expats are currently seeking citizenship or permanent residency in another country due to Brexit , new research has revealed.
Thirty-four per cent of those surveyed said they are already actively seeking a formal farewell to their home country because of Britain’s impending EU exit, with a further five per cent saying they will seek citizenship for themselves and/or their family in case of a hard Brexit.
Over half of British citizens living outside of the UK also said they are worried about their citizenship rights as an expat, with 14 per cent saying they have been forced to make changes to their retirement plans.
Paul Byrne, CEO of CurrencyFair, which carried out the research, said: “Expats tend to be at the leading edge of the intersection between personal finance and current events, and their behaviour is a barometer for bigger trends and changes.
“Our research indicates that Brexit may be forcing the hand of expats to seek citizenship they might not otherwise seek, as they search for viable options in the event of a hard Brexit and any negative economic consequences.”
In addition to alternative citizenship, a quarter of British expats surveyed say they plan to brace for a recession in the event of a hard Brexit, and plan to liquidate UK assets (17 per cent) or transfer money abroad (13 per cent) if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.
Almost half (45 per cent) of expats said they are worried about the savings they have in the UK and 55 per cent said they are concerned about the increasing cost of everyday items.
The survey of 664 ex-pats revealed that UK citizens residing at home have more confidence when it comes to their own finances.
While 54 per cent are concerned that the UK economic situation will worsen over the next 12 months, the same percentage believe their individual economic situation will either stay the same or improve.
Additionally, the majority of UK residents (54 per cent) indicate they plan to do nothing if there is a no-deal Brexit beyond bracing for a recession (42 per cent).
“The survey suggests that expats and UK citizens residing at home have contrasting views when it comes to how they anticipate Brexit will affect their lives,” Byrne said.
“It’s clear that when it comes to Brexit, where one stands on the issues depends on where one sits in the world.”