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Surge in Britons becoming EU citizens

As for where Britons chose to become citizens, a large proportion opted for Germany – an impressive 2,702 acquired a German passport (this was more than four times the 594 who did so the previous year), making up 41 percent of the overall number. However, many also decided to become Swedish, Dutch, and French citizens.

Although Eurostat is yet to release its figures for 2017, other research has suggested that the high number of citizenship acquisitions continued throughout last year, and all the evidence points to an even more significant increase.

For instance, the BBC reported on figures it obtained last year that examined citizenship applications in the 12 months before the referendum and the 12 months after. It found that all countries surveyed experienced more than twice as many applications from July 2016 to June 2017, than they did from July 2015 to June 2016.

At the start of 2018, the French Ministry of Interior also gave a more accurate picture of the situation in France, which included data for 2017. In 2015, 386 Britons filed applications to become French citizens. The number rose to 1,363 in 2016 and then to 3,173 in 2017. However, these figures cover all applications – the number of Britons successfully receiving French citizenship in 2017 was 1,518.

The different sets of figures have made it clear that Brexit has pushed many Britons to make a decision on their nationality and will likely continue to have an influence until the date the UK finally leaves the EU (March 2019). There is still a cloud of uncertainty looming over Brexit negotiations and how the outcome will affect UK expats, and it would appear that many view EU citizenship as the only certain way of retaining all their current rights, such as the right to live and travel in all EU member states.

Commenting on the Eurostat statistics, Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics at King’s College London said that Brexit is likely to “make UK citizenship much less useful for working, living and travelling elsewhere in the EU” and added that he would be surprised if the upward trend didn’t continue.

Expats deciding to adopt the nationality of their chosen country has become a key issue recently, but there is much more for them to consider as part of their expat retirement planning, such as making sure their finances are robust enough to support them throughout retirement.

Blacktower’s financial advisers can provide expats with guidance concerning pension transfers into SIPPs and QROPS as well as wealth management and regular savings advice.

By speaking to one of our financial advisers, we can help you make your financial goals more attainable so that, whether you opt for EU citizenship or not, your money will be looked after.

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How to invest wisely during the Coronavirus meltdown

Mark HollingsworthAt time of writing, global stockmarkets have witnessed some of the largest daily fluctuations since the financial crisis; on the back of continued concerns with the virus and how long it will last and the impact on the global economy.

For new investors this can be extremely worrying times as you will not have been used to such short-term volatility. For seasoned investors who went through the financial crisis of 2008, the technology bubble of 2000 and even black Monday in 1987, the short term pain being witnessed is often seen as a confirmation that although stockmarkets can’t always go up, over the long term, they always have done so.   With this in mind, it is important to remain calm and not change your investment time horizon. If for example you are saving for your retirement ten years from now; then maintain that timescale and don’t panic sell on the back of a matter of weeks of market downturns. The reason for this is that the coronavirus is an unforeseen event as opposed to their being any change to market fundamentals. Parallels can be drawn with the SARS outbreak in 2003. Markets fell over 14% at that time, yet the year ended up 18% higher – a swing of over 30% from bottom to top.

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