The Great Escape! Where Brits Are Brexit-ing To

Planning to escape the UK and avoid the whole Brexit hoo haa? You’re not alone. As the date looms ever closer, Brits are increasingly looking at how to emigrate to escape Brexit.

Since the vote on the whole thing in 2016 there has been a steady flow of people leaving the country, although looking at the general flow of migration, more have arrived in the UK than have left.

Wandering where to go to escape Brexit? Well, it isn’t difficult and there are lots of options. In fact, if you’re of the global playboy persuasion leaving the UK for sunnier climes is not a big deal.

For those thinking of safeguarding your EU future, this is where most Brits have been escaping to in the run up to Brexit (based on 2017 figures).

Spain

Could Spain be the best place to escape Brexit?
Pic:12019 via Pixabay

Lets be honest, if we could live anywhere it would probably be Spain. Beautiful cities full of quaint old towns, endless beaches, rolling hills, beautiful and friendly people and incredible food.

And most Brits think the same. In fact, the biggest proportion of expat Brits in the EU live in Spain (around 310,000) most of them in the south. So if you’re looking to escape the Brexit  gloom you’ll find lots of options in sunny España!

Best cities for nomads/playboys: Barcelona is a playboy’s playground and a leading global city. Madrid is where Spain does business and is the best place to do your networking. Or, think outside the box and head to Valencia, Seville, Bilbao or La Coruña.

Germany

Germany is a welcoming and familiar destination for British immigrants
Pic: JDPhotography

The old cliché about Germans being a bit humourless and over organised is way off the (Deutsch) mark. OK, they are quite well organised, but Germans on the whole know how to have fun. And their cities are lively and easy places to do business.

Brits have been heading to Berlin in the wake of the Brexit vote, and its easy to see why. The city is vibrant, cosmopolitan and has amazing nightlife. And, dare I say it, Germany isn’t that much different to the UK. They love football, beer and sausages and the weather is pretty grey for most of the year.

Germany is the world’s fourth biggest economy (bigger than the UK) so is a safe bet for economic stability in the long run. Whatever happens to the Euro…

As of 2017, around 100,000 Brits lived in Germany on a permanent basis. So if you’re planning to escape Brexit somewhere kind of familiar you’ll be safe here.

Best cities for nomads/playboys: Berlin is of course the big fun city of Germany. If you’re in finance or mainstream business head to Frankfurt, or the whole Rhineland cities (Dusseldorf, Cologne etc) make an excellent base.

Ireland

Ireland has seen a surge of passport applicants after the Brexit vote
Pic: Skitterphoto

Want to emigrate to Europe but keep it English speaking? Ireland is the obvious choice, plus it has pubs and the infamous craic. After Spain, Ireland is the most popular destination for expat Brits escaping Brexit from the UK, with around 275,000 propping up the bar from Dublin to Donegal.

The Irish economy is also pretty strong and many global corporations are relocating to the Emerald Isle, making it a solid choice if you’re looking for business opportunity. Despite old animosity, most modern Irish are pretty accepting of Brits, and many won’t hold back on telling you how ridiculous the political situation is.

And, if you have a parent or grandparent from the Emerald Isle, your Brexit escape just got easier! If you’re elegible for a passport it’s even easier to leave the UK.

Best cities for nomads/playboys: It’s not the cheapest place to set up camp, with Dublin rivalling London for accommodation prices. Head to Cork, Limerick and Galway for more ‘authentic’ – and slightly more affordable options.

France

Ooh la la! France offers a great lifestyle
Pic: Skeeze

The Romantic option… Who wouldn’t want to set up camp in somewhere like Nice or Bordeaux? It’s definitely not the cheapest place to be a digital nomad, but there are lots of Brit expats (around 200,000).  Ski resorts in particular are pretty much entirely run by Brits, with Morzine and Meribel particularly Brit-centric – but you’ll find English speakers everywhere, especially in the bigger cities.

In terms of world economies France is on a par (if not bigger) than the UK. If you’re into technology, fashion, food or sports you’ll find a lot to keep you in the country. There’s also a great work life balance, with the French valuing lifestyle over money. For the most part.

If you’re looking to avoid Brexit, France is a good choice. But be warned, France has plenty of social problems of her own…

Best cities for nomads/playboys: France ain’t cheap if you’re a digital nomad, but the lifestyle is one of the world’s best. Head to cities like Montpellier, Lyon, Toulouse and Rennes to enjoy the heady French city life.

Portugal

Portugal is a popular choice for British expats
Pic: LauraRinke

Once the basket case of Western Europe, Portugal has become one of the most popular destinations for Brits moving to avoid Brexit. Why? It’s still relatively cheap to live in and the country has been working hard to attract tech startups and entrepreneurs…

If you’re working remotely or you want a EU base for a business opportunity you’ll find Portugal very appealing. Plus, you’ll get to surf and sunbathe, sip Port wine and generally enjoy a very nice lifestyle.

The Algarve attracts many British people, but cities like Porto and Lisbon offer that cosmopolitan lifestyle. If you’re looking for affordable property in Portugal, take a look at cities like Coimbra and Braga.

Best cities for nomads/playboys: Lisbon of course is where the action is –  nightlife, culture and business. Porto the second city also has plenty to offer, but if you want the seaside vibe head to Lagos and Albufeira in the Algarve.

Belgium

Pic: KirkandMimi

It probably doesn’t rank high on the global glamour lists, but actually Belgium is a great choice for Brits who want to escape Brexit. Why? It has some of the simplest permanent residency and citizenship processes, is relatively cheap compared to neighbouring France and has all the benefits of any major Western country (good healthcare, strong economy etc).

Oh and the beer is amazing…

Brussels is actually quite a picturesque city, although if you’re heading here you’ll probably going to go somewhere more picturesque. Think Antwerp or Ghent for the best options.

Best cities for nomads/playboys: Ghent is a lively university city with a fraction of the tourism of hotspot Bruges. Antwerp, Liege and Charleroi also rank as great spots to set up camp.

If you decide to do your own Brexit then there are plenty of options. Most places will give you permanent residency after 3 years and you can normally apply for citizenship after this (if you need to).

Of course, the world is bigger than Europe and you’ll find plenty of opportunity further afield. But if you’re doing your Brexit escape, drop a comment below and let us know how it turns out for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.