PANTOMIME season is a British tradition that many expats miss. But this year the Brexit panto is keeping everyone on the edge of their seats.
It stars Theresa May, dressed as the principal boy in tight trousers and sparkly shoes. Have you got a deal? Oh yes, I have! Will it get through parliament? Oh no, it won’t!
Look behind you, Theresa, for here come the pantomime villains, Michel Barnier and Leo Varadkar. That’s why your backbenchers are hissing. No, hold on, it seems to be you they are hissing at.
Ho! Ho! Ho! But it’s no laughing matter for the thousands of British expats who have made their homes and built their businesses across the European Union.
More British people live in Spain than in any other country other than their own and Brexit has already taken its toll on the community. According to a recent report in El Pais its numbers have dropped from a peak of 400,000 to 250,000.
El Pais puts this down to the fall of the pound against the euro, which has hit the purchasing power of British pensioners. There has also been a drop in the number of Britons buying homes here, down by a third in the past year, according to the Association of Registrars.
Yet, in a sign of the confusion caused by Brexit, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Britons applying for Spanish citizenship, which will safeguard their right to residency, work and health care. These rights are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement but cannot be guaranteed if the UK leaves without a deal.
Unfortunately, the Brexit pantomime does not have a fairy godmother who can wave her wand and make the problems vanish.
It is possible, nonetheless, to take some precautions; to hedge against currency fluctuation, to safeguard your pension, to protect your investments and make your money work for you.
I would strongly urge all expats to take advice. The Woodbrook Group can help you understand your options and how to address your income needs.
Our experienced consultants can help you balance your savings and investments, by setting up a strategic plan that meets your specific requirements. We can’t make Brexit go away, but can we make it less damaging for you on a personal basis? Oh yes we can!
Ivo Sharpe is a financial consultant and Country and Regional Manager with Woodbrook Group
*For more information, contact our team at the Woodbrook Group Office in Marbella: Av. Ricardo Soriano, 72 Edificio Golden Portal B, 1ª Planta 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.
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