If you haven’t heard the news by now, the UK is on its way to finalising its divorce from the European Union.
Official action got underway on June 19, with politicians, lawyers and economists from the European Union and the United Kingdom discussing just how it will all work.
Whether it’s a soft or hard exit, implementation will take several years, but the decision has already had an impact on the UK’s economy, reports Business Tech:
According to the report, net migration dropped by 248,000 in 2016, down 84,000 from 2015. The data shows that the majority of this drop is due to European citizens deciding to return to their home countries in the wake of Brexit.
It also found that going forward, the UK’s economy would have to adapt with the sudden job vacuum as well as dealing with a sudden skills shortage.
But what impact will this decision have on South Africans looking to emigrate?
JP Breytenbach, Director of Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants, explained that the South Africans most likely to be affected are those “who are currently eligible through an EU or UK background”:
“South African citizens are likely to be mostly affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU if they are family members of EU nationals, as it will no longer be possible to benefit from the more favourable regime provided by the EU law.
“As per above, once the UK formally leaves the European Union, EU nationals (including dual SA/EU nationals) may be required to apply for a visa under the UK domestic immigration legislation (e.g. for a work permit).
“It is unclear, at this stage, whether the UK government will introduce some new visa categories or whether the existing immigration categories will be used for these new applications.”
And, although many are leaving the UK to find jobs elsewhere, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be room for the Saffers:
“Potentially, the departure of EU nationals from the UK could provide opportunities for South African to emigrate and find employment in the U.K.
“However, this will depend on the UK government policy as they had previously maintained that they will reduce net migration.”
To put the minds of UK and EU migrants at rest, a policy paper on Brexit was released on June 26 which clarified the UK government’s position on migrants.
According to the policy paper:
However, until the divorce is official, nothing is set in stone, The UK will continue welcoming migrants, so you might want to take the chance and pop over now, especially if you qualify for that ancestral visa.
If the UK isn’t looking all that attractive to you at present, maybe you want to find solace in the middle of nowhere, living off the fat of the land like Francis Mallmann.
You’ve watched Chef’s Table, right? Here’s Mallman’s episode’s trailer:
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