If you’re paying even the slightest attention, you’ll know that Brexit negotiations are not going well. As the Dalai Lama once said, “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” The most optimistic thing you can do in this situation pack your bags and get the hell outta Dodge.
Leaving the UK might seem drastic, but it’s the only way to secure yourself a brighter future. Here are some tips to make moving abroad that little bit simpler.
Choose a solid post-Brexit destination
Britain is not the only country with its fair share of problems at the moment, so it’s important to make sure you choose a destination that is on a better economic and political footing. Otherwise leaving would be pointless.
With Donald Trump at the helm, it goes without saying that you should steer clear of the USA. Catalonia’s bid for independence makes Spain touch-and-go at the moment too. It is better to move somewhere in Europe though, as for the next 16 months or so you will still be legally able to live and work in any of the 27 remaining member states.
Germany might be your strongest option. Much of the UK’s financial sector has already started emigrating to cities like Frankfurt or Berlin, and if we’ve learned anything in the past decade it’s to trust the finance sector. Seriously though, Germany has one of the highest average salaries and lowest average working hours of any EU country, according to an Independent survey. What’s not to like? Close runners up include France, Netherlands and Sweden. Spain also made the cut, but the calculations were made before the Catalonian crisis. For destinations further afield, the New Statesman suggests Canada and New Zealand as two politically progressive nations to inhabit.
Plan your move wisely
Once you’ve settled on a country, you have to think about packing for an international move. This can be a complicated process, especially as all of your possessions will be travelling an incredibly long way.
The best way to pack for an international move is to make the most thorough inventory you have ever made in your life. List by size. Larger items will be more difficult to transport. Hire a van, or look for a removal firm that transports internationally. If you’re not overly attached to your furniture, think carefully about whether you’d rather get rid of it and buy fresh abroad. You could sell these items or donate them to charity. This could save some of the time and stress of packing. But there will still be a lot more to pack.
Packing smaller items, such as clothes, can be done in a number of ways. Either you can pack your life in two suitcases and carry them onto a plane, or you can put them in boxes to be transported by a removal company alongside your larger possessions.
Keep one eye on Brexit updates
The only cloud over every Brexit exit plan is Brexit itself. Though it seems EU member states would very much like to guarantee the rights of the UK citizens who currently live there, the British government is happy to leave the fate of millions of EU nationals living in the UK hanging in the balance. This could present a problem for anyone who flees Brexit land for an EU neighbour.
When the country crashes out of the European Union in March 2019, we have no idea what the status of UK citizens living in Europe will be. It’s unlikely you’ll be kicked out of wherever you’re living. The UK plans to offer EU nationals the chance to buy “settled status” for £70, and this is a government that holds immigrants in contempt. EU countries are likely to offer similar, much more welcoming solutions.
Still, rather than speculate, your best bet is to follow Brexit negotiations carefully. This might lead to a lot of facepalming, groaning and cringing, but it’ll help you stay prepared for whatever comes your way as a post-Brexit escapee.
You can follow Brexit updates on every major newspaper’s website, if you’re still not sick of experts. Or if your experts tastefully balanced out with confused idiots, keep an eye on Twitter’s neverending Brexit feed.