Featured Hotels Destinations Move Work Events Awards Videos

EU referendum: what does it mean for the UK, and property buyers abroad?

Greece’s potential exit from the EU might spark a referendum for the UK. We examine the possibilities of this, and implications of leaving

Donald Tusk, European Council President, who is keen to address what will happen if the UK stays in the EU
Donald Tusk, European Council President, who is keen to discuss the UK's future involvement in the EU 

What are the chances of an exit for the UK?
As Cameron continues negotiations, it seems that all sides of the table agree that it would be better for the UK to remain part of the EU. Both European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk have stated intentions to address the idea of the UK staying in the EU (although it’s clear this will not come at any price), and many member states have made it clear that the UK is essential.

What does EU-uncertainty mean for sterling?
Sterling has been strengthening against the euro, particularly throughout 2015 – contributing to the advantageous pricing of European properties for British buyers. However, uncertainty about the UK’s situation could also affect currency markets in the meantime, so be aware that this could take any property beyond your budget if sterling were to weaken. We recommend registering for free with a currency specialist, such as SmartCurrencyExchange.com to stay on top of currency market fluctuations and to understand the implications for your personal situation. 

What would it mean if the UK left the EU?
We anticipate that life will be much the same for property buyers. It will still be easy to snap up homes in many parts of Europe, as many of its countries rely on this source of income for their economies. Expats will still enjoy the same lifestyle in overseas countries. 

What agreements are in place to safeguard the UK’s interests, were we to leave the EU?
As part of the European Economic Arena (EEA) the UK still has access to the EU market. There would still be some kind of agreement between the UK and EU even if we were to exit, although the format of it is not yet clear. With the UK an international centre of trade and commerce, there would still need to be agreements in place for trade, travel and market movement between countries, and this is likely to be reflected in life for those British citizens living outside of the UK.

In any event, the government will negotiate protections for British buyers and expats already living in the EU as part of the package decided. Many countries rely on income from British expats and property buyers, so allowances will have to be made to allow these relationships to continue, and countries such as Spain – particularly – will continue to encourage this.

To receive free information on buying property overseas, contact the OverseasGuidesCompany.com Resource Centre on +44 (0)20 7898 0549


Current issue