When the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, a variety of studies and polls have shown that those supporting Brexit did so because of the fear of immigration. Coupled with the fact that non-British people are unsure about what their rights will be after Britain leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, migration from the EU has dropped to its lowest level in six years and net migration has fallen from peak levels since before the vote.
It is perhaps no surprise then that one of the most comprehensive surveys on expats, which are defined as people who live and work abroad as part of a professional corporate assignment, shows that Britain has landed near the bottom of the ranking for the best countries in the world to live as an expat.
The study by one of the world’s biggest networking groups InterNations surveyed 18,000 people, representing 178 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories. It asked them to rate 48 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. For countries to be included in the overall tables, they had to have at least 75 respondents per destination, meaning only the most common countries to travel and live as an expat are included. The mean values of all allowed InterNations to rank the 68 best countries in the world to live in as an expat.
Britain claimed the 59th spot:
Among the reasons why expats rated the UK as low in the study has been down to a fifth of them not feeling at home and doubting they ever will. One Italian expat in the survey said: “Brexit and extremist behaviour are changing a once very open and welcoming country.”
Another expat, from Australia, said: “The English seem unwilling to welcome and socialise with outsiders. They’ll even tell you that’s the case to your face. They’ll tell you it’s an English thing!”
But it’s not just this feeling of unease that has made expats rate the country so low in the rankings—they cite the UK’s high cost of living, expensive childcare costs, as well as bad weather as reasons why they aren’t enamoured with Britain.