A handful of studies have just been completed relating to global immigration and also British patterns of emigration, and when you look at the findings as a whole, what’s revealed is quite striking. For a start, us Brits might all be planning a mass exodus now that the UK is in economic freefall, but many others from around the world are actually actively keen to move to the UK for employment reasons.
Rising energy costs and the lack of a British summer have been cited by some sources as reasons driving increasing numbers of Britons to look into their prospects of a new life abroad, and at the same time, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has reported that after the US, the UK is the most popular country for both skilled and unskilled migrants seeking a more affluent working environment overseas.
Taking the studies that focused specifically on the UK first, both the insurance firm AXA and the currency specialists FC Exchange have reported their own emigration findings. The latter has focused on retirees and reported that they have seen a sudden increase in retirees and pre-retirees actively researching their departure from the UK – driven increasingly by the widening gulf between increasing prices and declining returns on investments which means that effectively, the cost of living in Britain has risen so high as to be prohibitive for many.
AXA can concur, their findings suggest that there will be a further increase in the already high numbers of Britons seeking shelter overseas in the future, and that the current economic crisis in the UK is making the thought of ‘escape’ that much more appealing. AXA suggests that European favourites such as Spain and France are still coming out as favourites. We would suggest that this has a great deal to do with not only the undeniable natural attractions of these nations and their relatively easy accessibility, but because they are also relatively simple to immigrate to if you have an EU passport.
The OECD’s findings relating to global immigration reveal something altogether different – when you take a snapshot of the world as a whole it seems that more people are interested in moving to America and the UK! Despite the former’s excessively restrictive immigration policies and the fact that the cost of living in the UK is world renowned for being markedly high, both are countries where others see an opportunity for making a better living.
In line with other highly desirable immigration locations such as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Britain is now no longer so complacent about the numbers of immigrants it welcomes annually. A recent report showed that the likes of the NHS are bending under the strain of having to cope with so many immigrants, so finally the British government has introduced new rules restricting the numbers of workers it will allow into the country.
The Points Based System, or PBS, that the UK has implemented is designed to encourage skilled workers but deter those who are not considered to have skills that will benefit the nation. Whether this will have an impact on next year’s OECD global immigration study remains to be seen…meanwhile, we Brits cannot be encouraged to remain in our home country it seems. So perhaps the UK will actually have to scrap its brand new system before it even gets off the ground to fill in the population gap?!