Millions of British expats should consider reviewing their personal financial strategies as the UK Chancellor puts an extra £500m aside in the Budget to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, according to deVere Group.
Nigel Green, DeVere Group’s founder and CEO, commented in the wake of Philip Hammond’s last Budget before Brexit. The chancellor of the exchequer had previously allocated funding for Brexit preparations, and is increasing that from £1.5bn to £2bn in what will be considered by many to be a concession to the hard line Brexit wing of the ruling Conservative party.
Green observed: “The £500m extra preparation for a no deal effectively makes a no deal a more valid negotiating ploy for the government than it was before, and so risks it happening.
“Before, the EU could legitimately say that May’s threat of walking away with no deal was a bluff. But the increase in this funding announced today demonstrates an increasing willingness to think in terms of a no deal.”
He continued: “If the UK crashes out of Europe in a no-deal situation, the millions of British expats across the world could be hit in two key ways.
“First, the pound would inevitably fall further, meaning another big blow for those who receive British pensions or income in pounds as the cost of living would be significantly more expensive in real terms.
“Second, unless there is considerable post-Brexit collaboration between the UK and EU there is a risk that existing payments from British companies, including pension and insurance companies, to those living within the European Economic Area (EEA) could be disrupted or even made impossible. This would be a major inconvenience to many UK expats.”
He went on to add: “Facing the Brexit uncertainty, especially a no-deal scenario, it would be sensible for British expats to consider reviewing their personal financial strategies. This will help best position them not only to mitigate the risks of a no-deal Brexit, but also enable them to take advantage of potential opportunities that may arise.”
Green concluded: “A no-deal Brexit could potentially adversely and seriously impact the finances of millions of expats.
“It would be prudent to ensure their financial planning can withstand a no deal Brexit.”