As the entire worlds knows, the UK voted to leave the 28-member European Union and abandon their economic and political partnership. The world watched closely, but not as close as Australian diplomats, despite their gut feelings that it didn’t look like good news.
Why did Australia pay even closer attention to the vote? While the Department of Foreign Affairs didn’t want to speculate on any possible ramifications of the UK’s decision to exit, they have always felt that it would have been in Australia’s best interest for them to remain in the EU.
The Brexit and Australians
The question on many Australian’s minds is, “how does the Brexit effect Australians?” First off, Australians who live, study, work or travel to the UK or Europe would feel the effects. The interesting thing is, no one is quite sure of the exact effects the Brexit will have.
One thing is for certain, many really aren’t sure what this means for the work and travel rights of millions of Australian citizens. The UK High Commission estimates that there are approximately 1.5 million Australians with dual citizenship in the UK, or are eligible, however, anyone who falls into that category may have to kiss their dual citizenship good-bye.
Typically, being eligible to get a UK passport made it easier to get a working visa anywhere in the EU. Now that the UK has left, it will most likely send some Aussies packing and on a one-way ticket back to the homeland, which could be financially devastating for some.
If a person doesn’t have dual citizenship, then the Brexit has little impact, unless of course they want to work abroad, then they will have to go the working holiday visa route which often comes with limitations and restrictions and only a certain number of visas are available each year and it’s not a guarantee.
How the Brexit will effect Australian businesses
Most Australian businesses feel that a Brexit would be a very bad idea due to the fact that it creates an enormous amount of uncertainty since a large number of Australian companies have been using the UK for their European regional headquarters and the Brexit may force them to relocate their offices and people to the EU.
Both Australia and the UK support free trade and Australia was in the early stages of negotiating an agreement with EU, but the Brexit has caused this to be an even more sensitive subject at the negotiation table.
The Brexit will have an impact on both Australians living abroad and at home, in what ways, no one is certain. One thing we do know is, the unexpected happens to the best of us and the Brexit was a bit surprising to some. Don’t get caught in a snag without a plan, talk to a financial planner on the Sunshine Coast so you can start planning for life’s unexpected events.