The Business Brexit Environment and Outlook (Part 1)

How EU Brexit Affects Expat Property Business & Pensions


ProACT Sam discusses in depth issues for Family and Business Living and Working Abroad with the looming  EU Brexit for Expats early in 2019.

The Business Brexit Environment and Outlook

Democracy Culture Clash

With Brexit we are getting mix message about custom unions and new votes.  How will this affect Expats? Not at all, possibly.  

The UK government is a democratically elected executive carrying out the wishes of a democratic vote.

The EU executive is an unelected bureaucracy and operates on rules, constantly referring to the legal process, but they do not represent the changing wishes of the people.

In Italy we can see a democratic vote for Euro scepticism being ridiculed by the EU and the majority leaders denied a ruling position in favour of EU friendly government.

The UK is driven in part to regain sovereign control of its parliament and legal system, the central argument for the UK to not have any issues subject to the highest EU court - the ECJ European Court of Justice. 

This is a key point in the UK negotiations.  A creative approach to say “this is where we are, this will let us move forward together, and meet our voters needs”

The EU legal rule bound response is “ that is not legal and breaks the rules”

There is a rising tide of discontent within the EU which questions why the EU executive is giving the UK such a hard time.  This uprising was the force that suddenly resolved and allowed a Withdrawal Treaty to be drafted.

The EU insistence causing all the noise and political uncertainty surrounds the customs union.  Are the EU hold a tough line to force uncertainty and a rethink in the UK? Or are they just following their rules.  A Bit of both.

Custom Made - Must Do

Expat Business should be realistic.  The UK has a customs union with the EU already.  If the UK agree to the existing customs relationship, it is the same position as now with cross border trade.

EU rules make it hard for then EU executive to accept that, insisting the UK must abide by the rules.  

Except that the EU has many exceptions - Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, san marino.

The EU could allow the UK continue with the current arrangement, with separate sovereignty, rather than insist on doing step one - leave - step two negotiate new treaty - step three enact new treaty.

This is causing the noise and business and voters are beginning to question the relevance of the EU approach.

World Order - Its Not All About EU Politicians

The EU is not a sovereign power. It is a trading bloc with aspirations.  The UK will trade with the European countries after Brexit, but the UK has to negotiate with the EU to make an agreement with the EU27 remaining states. To consider anything else is fanciful by people in the UK.

The EU is not all powerful.  World trade laws determine the framework for the EU trade laws and limit what they can dictate to the UK.  World Trade laws allow the UK a way to continue to trade with the EU - just with different tariffs.  This is where the EU will face trouble at home, as why would they give the UK such a hard time when the EU and UK will remain major trading partners.

Tax, Social Insurance, Medical, Residency issues are all outside EU customs union.  These are the issues that impact Expat Business and Family life and the areas we will focus:

  1. Residency Permits
  2. Social Insurance, Taxation and Medical Treaties Between Countries
  3. Impact on Pensions, Savings and Investment 
  4. Impact on Property Rental Income and Capital Gains Taxes

Look out for Part 2 of the How EU Brexit Affects Expat Property Business & Pensions series next week where we'll be looking at residency rights in transition for expats.