Expats shun the Mediterranean

Costa del Sol

A report from the Institute of Public Policy Research, a leading think tank, says that worldwide economic woes are leading to a downturn in emigration, particularly ‘place in the sun’ destinations in Europe such as Spain and Greece.

In 2009: 134,000 British people opted to become expats and move abroad, in 2007 the figure was 200,000. The troubled economies of Mediterranean places like Portugal, Greece and Spain, traditionally popular amongst British expats, are thought to be acting as a deterrent for potential expats.

Head of Migration at the IPPR, Tom Finch, said: “Big British emigration boom of the last decade may be over, and the days when everyone could dream of a ‘place in sun’ are disappearing”.

Mr Finch says that the government should make an increased effort to support expats, as they are potentially good-will ambassadors for the United Kingdom. Finch says that the Government should implement small grants to encourage expat entrepreneurship, he also feels that they should make the process of registering and voting in UK elections much easier for overseas residents.

He also says that more effort should be made to maintain connections with the expats whilst they are in their new country, possibly by using consulates and embassies as “inclusive and accessible hubs for a much wider range of activities and a wider range of diaspora groups”.