My personal future – Brexit and the impacts

In 2016, the UK voted by a narrow majority to leave the EU in an advisory referendum.

There was no strategy offered by the Brexit supporters beyond “we are bound to get a great deal”. As events have proved, the UK has ended up with a bad deal. There are a whole host of reasons for this, which I will not elaborate on.

The biggest impact on my personal future has been to eliminate Europe as a possible living location when I stop working full-time in 2 years or so. After visiting the Azores in 2018, Mary and I were seriously wanting to relocate to there when I stopped full-time IT work. That would have been ideal from the perspective of being close to the UK, and also would have been OK for access to the USA. However, the elimination of Freedom of Movement in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU, and the lack of any reciprocal agreements with the EU on fundamental life issues such as healthcare, means that living in the Azores will be prohibitively expensive and complicated, mainly because of healthcare costs and residency issues. The same issues apply to any other European country in the EU.

So, the Leave vote in 2016 has eliminated any chance of me relocating to be closer to my family in the UK.

Since, as far as I can tell, most of my immediate family voted to Leave, I have to assume that they either failed to realize that this might be an impact on my future, or they never even considered it. They certainly never asked me, either before the referendum, or since the referendum. They know my views of Leave, that much is certain.

I am certainly not going to relocate to the UK. The country demonstrated, both in the referendum result, and the result of the General Elections since then, that the majority sentiment is now one of narrow-minded, exclusionary xenophobia. The current government is incompetent, corrupt and ignorant. The UK electors voted for this outcome. I hold them responsible, and I am not going to return to live in that sort of a country. I do not even intend to visit for tourism reasons.

I am looking at possibly buying a property in Ireland, but that is as close as I will come to the UK. Ireland has some special relationship arrangements with the UK that have not (so far) been torpedoed by Brexit. However, if the UK government persists in picking fights with the EU, those special arrangements could disappear soon. So I am wary of making any immediate commitment.

We are now looking at relocating to either Hawaii or Costa Rica.

Hawaii has the advantage of being part of the USA, but property is expensive. We would probably end up in a small house or even an apartment.

Costa Rica is an enlightened country with a good record of environmental stewardship and democracy, and property is more affordable. It has good healthcare, which would be affordable for us if I stop working. Mary might even be able to work from Costa Rica, and I intend to work from there on writing projects.

The next 12-18 months will determine our next location. If our investments do well, I may be able to shift to full-time writing in 12-18 months. We are working on the house to make it as valuable as possible when the time comes to sell it.

The UK’s decision to try and re-run the Golden Age of Empire has resulted in us having to re-think a lot of plans. Europe is off the list as a living location. .


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