11:12 uur 12-06-2019

De Brexit Breakup: CurrencyFair Survey onthult dat 40 procent van de Britse expats die in Nederland wonen, zeggen dat ze naar een nieuw land zullen verhuizen in het geval van een harde Brexit

  • Een kwart heeft reeds het staatsburgerschap of permanent verblijf in een ander land aangevraagd.
  • Bezorgdheid over persoonlijke financiën het grootst onder expats die in Nederland wonen
  • Expats zoeken opleidings-, werk- en investeringsmogelijkheden voor hun kinderen in het buitenland

DUBLIN-(BUSINESS WIRE)- Veertig procent van de Britse expats die in Nederland wonen, zijn bereid om naar een nieuw land te verhuizen als Groot-Brittannië zonder een deal uit de EU vertrekt, zo blijkt uit een onderzoek in opdracht van de internationale money transfer service CurrencyFair. Zesentwintig procent zegt dat ze een aanvraag hebben ingediend voor een nieuw staatsburgerschap (12 procent) of permanent verblijf (14 procent) en nog eens 26 procent zegt dat ze een verblijf in het buitenland hebben onderzocht vanwege de onrust door de Brexit. Veertig procent van de ondervraagde Britse expats zei dat ze voor Nederland zouden kiezen als ze in een willekeurig land in de EU zouden kunnen wonen, wat wijst op een hoge mate van tevredenheid over hun adoptieland.

The Brexit Breakup: CurrencyFair Survey Reveals That 40 Percent of British Expats Living in the Netherlands Say They Will Move to a New Country in the Event of a Hard Brexit

    • A quarter have already applied for citizenship or permanent residency in another country
    • Anxiety about personal finances highest among expats living in The Netherlands
    • Expats seeking educational, work and investment opportunities for their children abroad

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Forty percent of British expats living in the Netherlands are willing to move to a new country if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, according to a survey commissioned by international money transfer service CurrencyFair. Twenty-six percent say they have applied for new citizenship (12 percent) or permanent residency (14 percent) and an additional 26 percent say they have looked into staying abroad due to Brexit turmoil. Forty percent of British expats surveyed said they would choose the Netherlands if they could choose to live in any country in the EU, suggesting a high level of satisfaction with their adoptive country.

The survey, concluding in May, compared British expats’ views of their preferred Brexit outcomes and plans to manage the impact of Brexit with the views of British citizens residing at home. Expats living in EU countries expected to be most significantly impacted by Brexit were surveyed, including the Netherlands, Germany, France and Ireland.

The survey paints a picture of British expats in the Netherlands as the most proactive British expats in the EU, actively exploring citizenship and contemplating major changes to personal finance in light of Brexit.

Voting with their passports

Two thirds (60 percent) of the British citizens living in the Netherlands are worried about their citizenship rights as an expat, and even more (72 percent) are worried about their citizenship rights in commonwealth countries due to uncertainty around Brexit. This compares with an average of 53 percent and 50 percent respectively across all EU countries surveyed.

“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,” said Paul Byrne, CEO of CurrencyFair. “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 scenarios.”

Anxiety spurring action in the Netherlands

In addition to alternative citizenship, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of all expats living in the Netherlands surveyed say they plan to brace for a recession in the event of a hard Brexit. With two-thirds (67 percent) of those living in the Netherlands worried about the value of the pound, 65 percent concerned about how Brexit may impact their retirement, and 60 percent nervous about the performance of any investment products in the UK, it’s not surprising that many are choosing to pull further away from their birth country.

If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, expats living in the Netherlands report intentions to liquidate UK assets (37 percent), or transfer them abroad (21 percent). Nearly a fifth of expats living in the Netherlands (18 percent) noted that when choosing a provider to transfer money to and from the UK, transparency about fees charged are amongst the most important aspects, followed by security and trust in service provider.

When it comes to their children, many expats living in the Netherlands are considering opportunities and investments outside of the UK in order to manage changes related to Brexit. One-quarter of these expats (26 percent) would encourage their children to seek work abroad, 16 percent would seek new citizenship on behalf of their children or encourage them to apply, and 30 percent would make investments on their children’s behalf in another country. More than a third (35 percent) would seek other educational opportunities for their children, and perhaps most telling, 40 percent would move their savings out of the UK.

“These responses aren’t surprising, considering that a quarter of respondents cited affordability and a higher standard of living in the Netherlands when compared with the UK,” said Byrne. “Also ranking high were house prices, which a third of those in the Netherlands prefer, as well as the tax regime.”

Leadership vacuum

The likes of prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron are overwhelmingly blamed by expats and British citizens residing at home for the current state of Brexit negotiations. However, both British citizens residing at home and expats struggled to suggest an appropriate alternative. Only one in 10 UK citizens residing at home chose Boris Johnson to succeed Theresa May. Expats in the Netherlands are outliers, however, in their choice (19 percent) of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jeremy Hunt, as successor to Theresa May as ‘prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party,’ compared to only nine percent of expats for whom Hunt is the choice. When asked which notable person – living or dead – would have Brexit sorted by now if they were in charge, 25 percent of British expats living in the Netherlands felt former Australian prime minister John Howard would do a better job handling Brexit, followed by singer Kylie Minogue, with 18 percent having more confidence in her than current politicians. Tied for third at 12 percent was an unlikely trio — former British prime minister Winston Churchill, Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as Meghan Markle.

A nation divided

UK citizens are divided about their preferred Brexit outcome. British expats in the Netherlands are slightly more inclined (21 percent) towards leaving the EU without a deal compared to an average among all expats surveyed of just 16 percent. In contrast, almost a third (31 percent) of citizens residing in at home are in favour of this option. That said, both expats and residents are aligned in their relative lack of interest in a second Brexit referendum, with only 10 percent indicating desire for another referendum; this number drops to a lowly two percent in the Netherlands. Instead, more than a quarter of both British citizens residing at home and expats would prefer to see Britain stop the Brexit process altogether and remain in the EU (18 percent in the Netherlands), which may indicate a general fatigue on the drawn out and complicated process.

“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. It’s clear that when it comes to Brexit, where one stands on the issues depends on where one sits in the world,” said Byrne.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 664 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th April – 2nd May 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair is an international money transfer platform focused on providing the best available exchange rates and experience for customers who need to send money and make payments overseas. CurrencyFair’s 150,000 strong user-community have traded more than €8 billion and saved more than €205 million using the service. Our unique peer-to-peer model and secure, state-of-the-art technology, raises the industry standard in designing technology-led foreign currency services for web, IOS and Android use. The company has offices in Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, and announced plans to expand further across Asia in 2019 after acquiring Convoy Payments (Hong Kong) in December 2018.


Killeen Kelly
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