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Moving to Europe after Brexit

Moving to Europe after Brexit

Thinking About Moving To Europe? What About Brexit?

I think it’s clear that we love it here in Spain. In fact, we like it so much that we are considering spending part of the year here on a regular basis.

But  now, Joanna and I have to do some serious thinking about doing so. By now, You probably heard that the UK (by a very narrow margin) has decided to leave the European Union.

We are currently in the EU (Spain) and have not yet eliminated the possibility of moving here for part of the year. However, the UK voting to leave the EU is something we need to carefully consider as it could drastically change any current or future plans that we have for living in Europe.

Moving to Europe after Brexit: Now What?

Well, the process of leaving doesn’t officially begin until the UK invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and British PM David Cameron has already said he’s planning on stepping down by October. BUT, he will not invoke Article 50 before doing so (though this could change). So, in the immediate future, it seems nothing will happen.

Even if the UK invokes Article 50 on the day Cameron leaves office, they get up to 2 years to negotiate terms and treaties with EU members before they get kicked out of the union.

Basically, while no one is quite sure what’s going to happen, it’s not going to happen right away. I would guess it will be at least a year before the UK leaves the EU.  My guess is so short because the EU leadership is really pushing them to move quickly (i.e. don’t let the door hit you on the way out).

moving to Europe after Brexit

Moving to Europe after Brexit: What does this mean for the rest of the EU?

Let’s see, it could mean nothing, right? As some people think: “So, what? They left. There are 27 more countries left.”

Well, here is the thing…

If you look at EU as a whole (which is the idea of a union), and nearly 20% of your GDP leaves overnight, well, I tend to think that there will be some problems.

And furthermore, other EU member countries, or at least some of their leaders, have already expressed an interest in leaving as well. So, I think everyone here will be watching very closely the events with the UK, as they unfold, and it is possible that this may start a domino affect and other countries leaving.

Moving to Europe after Brexit: So, who cares?

Although many of our friends back in the States don’t care. I believe they should.


Because if this causes the EU to spiral into a recession or worse, it will most definitely affect US and Asia. We have a global economy, after all. Remember how the Chinese were laughing because the US economy took a dive a few years ago? Well, shortly after, they stopped laughing when some of their factories had to close due to lack of purchases from the USA. We are now all connected, whether we realize it or not.

So, what happens in the EU from this point forward, and what happens in the UK, should be a concern or at the very least, of interest to everyone.

Moving to Europe after Brexit: Does this mean Europe is out for us?

Actually, no…… at least not right away.

Fortunately for us, we’re not planning any immediate moves to other countries and Puerto Rico is still our home base. This gives us some time to play the “wait and see” game before making any further decisions.

So, while we were working on straightening out our right to live and work in the EU, we’ve been looking more at warmer/less expensive areas along the Mediterranean coast. If we decide to leave our beloved island of Puerto Rico for Europe for part of the year, the big contenders for our new home – at the moment – would be Spain or Southern Italy.

We haven’t really given the UK much consideration as a place to live (beyond my dreams of moving close to the Guinness Factory – which Joanna doesn’t seem to share) because it’s more expensive and the weather kind of sucks.

Here is a list of things we decided needed consideration. If, like us, you’re considering a move to Europe, you might also want to consider the same list…

Roaming the world

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a job lined up with a British company? If so, your dreams of living in a cheaper country and telecommuting probably won’t happen the way you envisioned.
  • Are you thinking about moving to one of the (poorer) countries getting support from the union? If so, the UK’s exit represents a 2.5 Billion Euro or 17% drop in GDP for the EU. This will probably, at least in the short term, affect EU funding for member countries.
  • That same 17% “instant” drop in GDP could also destabilize the economy in Europe.
  • After the markets stabilize, Brexit could be really good for the US economy.
  • This probably means that Syrian refugees that would have gone to the UK will end up in the remaining EU countries. Regardless of your feelings about these refugees, it is a factor you need to consider.

Our list of considerations will almost certainly grow as more information about Brexit comes to light. However, as of yet, neither Joanna or I have seen anything that would disqualify EU as a possible destination – again for at least part of the year – especially after things settle down after Brexit.

On the other hand, we still suffer from a terrible case of wanderlust and we will roam the world much further before we settle down. On our list are still Asia and South America. And why not?

Are we the problem?

On a side note, we are starting to wonder if we’re bad luck for some countries. Consider the following:

  • We considered Panama and within 2 years the Panama papers were released. This may shift a lot of wealth out of the country because rich people will want to continue dodging taxes without so much scrutiny.
  • Next, we move to Puerto Rico just months before the government declares they can’t pay their debts and will default.
  • And now that we’re considering moving to Europe part-time, Brexit happens…

Hmm… maybe we can get countries to pay us to stay away? 🙂


About Tim

is a professional geek. He is a founding partner of JTR Tech and enjoys all things technology. He and his wife Joanna started AbroadDreams.com to help them plan and solidify their dream of moving abroad. After two years in Puerto Rico and Europe, Tim and Joanna are now back in the USA and exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. JerryDon Gibbs

    Wishing you contined blessings in your travels…
    Thxs for the information…
    See ya i PR Sept.
    Jer : )

  2. Interesting for you to have this experience while you are in Europe. But I found this post very difficult to read due to both the post and the site being cluttered with so many ads and pop ups. FYI.

    • Hi Cassie,
      Thanks for commenting. We only have a handful of ads on each page (which have always been there) and we have no popups on our pages. you should check your computer for a virus to make sure something isn’t going on your end.

      • Looks a little cleared up today. When I first read this post there were 3 in-text ads (Google Adsense and Amazon). Two sidebar ads (Amazon and something else) and then at the very bottom of this page there is the pop up of “Check Also” which I suppose was just an ad for this site except it was for the Trip4Real post which you may or may not be getting a kickback for referred business. Not to mention the in-text “Related Articles.” I guess it’s just not my style. Hard to read with all that going on. Britton checked on his laptop and it was the same thing. Love hearing about all your adventures and research though!

        • Hi Cassie,
          I understand your point and I appreciate your opinion but for us it is not a matter of style, it is how we keep the lights on. We are professional bloggers and ads are how we make a living and what allows us to continue to write. We use an ad server that places the ads for us, so believe it or not, what you see is the industry standard. Popups open a new window, we do not use them. I think you are confusing suggestions for other posts on the site with ads, and no, those have nothing to do with profit.
          In any case, I’m sorry to hear you do not like the site.