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Brexit: What Does it Mean for Global Mobility?

by George Parr

The result of the UK’s EU referendum last Friday s saw 51.9% of voters – more than 17million people – choose to leave the European Union in a historic decision.

The dust has settled a little over the weekend, with reassurances from the Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, that they have ‘already engaged in extensive contingency planning’ and will help the economy navigate any uncertainty as the process unfolds.

Ahead of the referendum, mobility industry leaders had already given some thought to what the international landscape might look like for its companies and their relocating employees in the event of a ’Leave’ decision.

Britain’s exit – ‘Brexit’ – is likely to take at least two years to complete, so initially, there likely will not be any change whatsoever in how the UK does business or people travel in and out of the country. Equally, there may not be any change on the international stage in the short term, allowing time for companies to review their relocation policies and consult with their providers ahead of any potential impact.

While it’s business as usual for the time being, mobility managers may want to look more broadly at tracking British employees going abroad and nationalities moving into the UK in preparation for any immigration changes which may occur in the future.  Additionally, the fluctuation in the pound may affect employees’ Cost of Living Allowance, so it is worth referring to data providers for up to date guidance.

As we previously discussed, nothing is certain in terms of the potential implications, but there may be some future longer term challenges such as tighter immigration controls and customs clearance for household goods. There could also be taxation and transport legislation changes which would have a wider impact on the moving industry, particularly for European operators. But, as things remain unchanged for now, it affords providers the opportunity to continue to consult with their clients to manage the overall cost of their mobility programmes.

Simply put; for now, ‘Brexit’ has had no immediate impact on global mobility and mobility providers so the focus should remain on continuing to do what we do best – meeting the needs of our clients and their employees wherever in the world they may be.