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What does Brexit mean for South African expats in Britain?

By August 29, 2016October 3rd,

What does Brexit mean for South African expats in Britain?

August 29, 2016

Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union – termed Brexit by the media – has been closely watched internationally, as many countries question the effects of this move on their own economies. Both Britain and the EU have substantial influence on the international market, and South Africa is one of many countries anticipating financial repercussions from this move.

The impact Brexit could have on South Africa has been discussed in an earlier post, but we turn our considerations now towards those South Africans within Britain. While economists are anticipating a greater vulnerability to financial recession for South Africa, Brexit could hold some benefits for South Africans living in, or travelling to Britain.

Are you using Rands or Pounds?

Due to South Africa’s Commonwealth membership, about five hundred thousand South Africans living in the UK were entitled to vote in the Brexit referendum.

The short-term effects of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU include a weaker Pound Sterling and a tighter job market. While this means a tightening of belts for all who live and work in Britain, including South Africans, a weaker Pound is beneficial to those who deal from outside British borders or need to travel to the region. For the South Africans still using It does also, however, mean imports could become more expensive, though the UK has held its own in the past few weeks despite some fears of a looming recession.

Another effect of Britain’s exit from the EU is a twenty percent drop in property value, putting the dreams of home-ownership within reach for South African expats in Britain.

Remember – as a South African living abroad you could stand to benefit from the UK’s pension incentive programme. This means you could transfer your financial assets to your new home and possibly increase the value of these funds should you reinvest it in a UK pension.

Citizenship and residency

Important to consider is the change that Brexit will have on citizenship and status.

The full impact of Brexit on citizenship, immigration and visas will only be clear once the exit from the EU has been formally actioned.

Trade and travel

Without the constraints of the EU’s policies, Britain is now allowed a chance to restructure their relationship with South Africa which could bring about better trade, travel and communication agreements. South Africans living in or travelling to Britain can enjoy the benefits of this new relationship.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this move will have some long-term benefits for South Africans living in the UK as well as those visiting these countries for work, to visit family or just for a swift holiday.

If you have any questions or need help with your financial emigration leave your details below and one of our financial consultants will contact you back.
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