June 24, 2016

UK Votes to Leave European Union: Relocation Implications

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UK Votes to Leave European Union: Relocation Implications

The result of the UK Referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU), held on 23 June 2016, has now been announced. Whilst the vote was close (48.1% of voters backed to Remain and 51.9% backed to Leave), the final majority result signals that Britain has voted against continuing its membership of the European Union.

As our Blog on 2 June indicated there are likely to be implications of this result for mobility to and from the UK, particularly from other EU member countries. Whilst the biggest area of impact is likely to be on migration, the UK economy and property market could also be affected.

Nothing, however, is expected to change overnight. Negotiations to uncouple the UK from the EU will take years to complete. EU legislation provides a two-year process for negotiating the terms of withdrawal and agreeing on a departing country’s future relations with the EU. Replacing some aspects of EU membership with UK specific agreements, like trade deals for example, may take much longer.

Tips for Relocation Managers

Our advice to those managing a global mobility programme that involves the UK is detailed in our Blog of 2 June.

We suggest that relocation managers: 

  • Record the profile of those assignees likely to be most affected, so that appropriate short- and medium-term planning for international assignments can take place.
  • Review upcoming intra-EU relocations that involve the UK, and/or UK nationals moving within the EU, and/or EU citizens moving to the UK. Keeping an ongoing record of these move types now will make future planning easier.
  • Alert senior management of any likely mobility related impacts that this could have on wider business plans and company objectives.
  • Audit your relocation policy and consider any likely areas of additional expenditure/cost like COLA, home/host compensation, shipping, visa/immigration etc.  
  • Build extra time into the assignment planning process, especially for any anticipated visa/immigration requirements.
  • Seek advice from your immigration provider as further information on the likely changes becomes available.
  • Ensure your relocation planning is in lock-step with preparations being made in other areas of your company, like legal, tax, finance, and HR. 

Going forward anyone involved in UK mobility should keep up to date with information from leading news sources as the negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU commence. This is particularly important to ensure all aspects of relocation planning are covered comprehensively.

As details of the terms of the UK's exit become known, Cartus will publish further information on the impacts upon your global mobility programme.

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Posted By

Rob Abbott

About Rob

Robert is vice president of Client Services, EMEA. He has almost three decades of relocation experience, specializing in both the UK domestic and international mobility arenas.

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