While the media exploits the fear of British expatriates living in Spain, France and Portugal, the truth is far far less intimidating. The fact is, expatriates are creating revenue, they own businesses, they own property and these EU countries reap the benefits of their investment in the economy. International law protects them in the event that a government might attempt to alter the rules of engagement, and their incentive is quite nil.
In fact, Spain and Portugal have historically generously opened their arms to expatriates from everywhere, including the US, offering the same easy transition and assistance. For years, the aura, the beaches, the lifestyle, the stress-free environment of these countries has called to foreigners and they have come eager to acclimate and set-up shop. Tourism is healthy, refugee influx is light, and while crime is an issue in Barcelona and Madrid, it fades dramatically in smaller towns and villages. Although the State Department has issued warnings about the crime rates in Spain, a quick statistical check indicates that the US surpasses their murder rate 5:1, their rape rate 8:1, violent crime 9:1, and total crimes in the US were 85% higher than Spain.
Does that mean the State department should issue a warning for foreigners coming to the US?
While EU expatriates are assured of their status and their rights, incoming expatriates may not have the same rights which should become a negotiation between the respective countries governments going forward.
And despite all this being made clear months ago, despite all the assurances, the media would like to provoke tension and fear with a story of one families fear. Stoking the embers so as to invoke a full fledged fire. In fact, the stories of expatriates is quite the opposite, life has been grand in Spain and Portugal, and returning the the strife and chaos of London simply isn’t an option, nor is it a goal.
The larger issue is the rumbling of EU collapse as other wealthy countries advocate for their freedom. Freedom from what? From a corrupted Commission government that has no transparency, stifling expenses, unaccounted wages, and demands that are not representative of the people, but instead are representative of the Commission. A Commission that needs the wealthy countries to prop up their livelihood and justify their existence – a two government system requiring higher taxation to support.
Not only does the Commission gain it’s livelihood and income from membership taxation, but from excise taxes. Those taxes would not be imposed on countries leaving the EU, and thus their ability to be more competitive in trade negotiations is the attraction, leaving the remaining EU countries scrambling.
While the UK currently has a negative trade balance with their top exports being cars, oil and gold, that VAT tax becomes a hot issue as it is no longer a necessary prop for the Commission. The UK’s major export partners include the US, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and France. Obviously, the US is not a part of the EU, but then neither is Switzerland an EU member, and only a part of The Netherlands is a member.
Although the initial impact on the UK will be rooted in more fear than fact, the larger agenda of what is being manipulated to be the new EU, becomes a more interesting question. And Germany most certainly has the most to lose, the largest economy, and largest import of refugees.
I’d be watching Germany. Not because they have any intention of Germexit, but because they have to ante more and more to cover the refugees, and now the lost revenue of the UK.