Expats have voted France into the top ten places to live in the world based on the overall quality of life it offers. Healthcare, in particular, scored highly. Unfortunately for those of us who have yet to make the move, this is at risk if Britain were to leave the EU.
Healthcare would be one of the first things Britons abroad would lose the right to if the UK voted no in 2017’s referendum.
It is ironic that a significant proportion of expats favour Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. They would be denying themselves – and their countrymen – the very the benefits that EU membership has brought them.
Interestingly, the voting public seem to have grasped that a no vote would have a damaging effect. A poll last month by Ipsos MORI found that 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the EU if the referendum were held tomorrow. Only 36% would vote to leave.
That suggests that the recent surge in support for UKIP is less about antagonism towards the EU and more about a lack of faith in the other parties. In other words, it’s a protest vote.
“A poll last month found that 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the EU if the referendum were held tomorrow”
Yet UKIP’s agenda seems to be dictating that of the Conservative party – despite the chorus of disapproval from the business community.
Industry knows that over 50% of our experts go to the EU and that 3 million British jobs depend directly on our EU membership. A further million are indirectly linked to the EU.
Pulling out risks economic suicide.
Perhaps the expats who want Britain to quit the EU hope that it would return the country to some sort of romanticised 1950s idyll. I suspect they would be disappointed. The 1970s – when Britain was the sick man of Europe – is a more likely outcome.