Brit expat business owners most at risk of Brexit damage

Brit expat business owners most at risk of Brexit damage

Brit expat business owners most at risk of Brexit damage

Is the myth of the stereotypical British expat the reason why May has ignored the Brexit plight of several million Britons living overseas?

British expatriates living in Europe are still no wiser than in 2016 as to the real effects of Brexit on their chosen lifestyles, with those running businesses totally confused about their status after March 29, especially if a no-deal exit is allowed to happen. There’s plenty in the international media about the effect on British-based and multinational companies, but nothing about expatriate SMEs or even the larger British expat-owned companies in the 27 remaining EU member states.

One such company, established in Barcelona since 2006, employs 30 people in Spain and its Portuguese base and has an annual turnover of £2 million. Its owner, Deborah Grey, is at a total loss as regards her post-Brexit status, telling reporters there’s no-one who can give any advice. She believes it’s likely she will be able to stay in Spain, but can’t sleep due to worry about her company being forced to close down.

According to chair of Bremain in Spain John Moffett, a full two-thirds of Britons living in Spain are employed, thus disproving the hated stereotype of boozers, beach bums and bowls players publicised by Britain’s tabloid press. ‘Sensation sells papers’ was the call in the past, with its online equivalent now producing revenue. Another female expat who’s lived in a village near Valencia for 20 years has been working for 10 years with the same London-based online marketing company. She’s a single parent with two children, and is now terrified a further sterling crash as the result of a no-deal Brexit will mean she can no longer pay the bills.

British pensioners have cornered the market in scary press reports and with good reason, as the fall in sterling has hit hard on those with no private pensions to supplement the measly UK state pension. One elderly couple in Alcaucin told the media if British pensions in the UK had dropped by 25 per cent as they have in Spain, there’d be riots outside 10 Downing Street. Worse still is the potential loss of free healthcare, as well as the loss of the free movement-based legal entitlement to work in an EU member state.

This last has never been mentioned in the media, and is of crucial importance for many working British retirees in Europe.
An increasing number of British expats are now giving up their British citizenship in favour of a Spanish passport, saying UK lawmakers are simply ignoring the devastating effect Brexit will have on their lives, whilst others with online businesses are resorting to Estonia’s new e-residency offering in order to keep working legally.

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