For all of us living and working in the Alps as seasonnaires or British companies, the news about Britain’s referendum on whether it stays IN or OUT of the European Union is worrying. So what could an OUT vote mean for those Brits who love mountain life in France?
No-one really knows what will happen if Britain decides to leave the EU in the vote on 23 June. Lots of renegotiating would take place and could take years. Here are a few starting points for discussion. Please comment below if you want to put across your point of view…
If Britain was not a member state, it could make it harder to find work and employ people as you’d have to start applying for visas and work permits again. If it’s easier to employ a seasonnaire from a country that’s still within Europe, that might give another candidate the edge over you. The freedom of movement that’s one of the founding features of the EU could be curtailed for us Brits so it could become harder to set up businesses abroad.
In the same way, more restrictions could be placed on Brits wanting to live abroad – you wouldn’t necessarily just be welcome to turn up and set up home in the mountains any more. It could be more difficult to buy property here. Governments may have to renegotiate reciprocal agreements on things like pensions and healthcare – which may leave those of us abroad out of pocket.
POUND / EURO VALUE
The value of the pound slumped after the announcement of the referendum date – losing 1.3% against the euro. Edge Magazine partner and global money transfer specialist Currencies Direct said the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s future relationship with other EU countries has affected the market, leading to the slide in value of the pound.
Changes in the exchange rate between pounds and euros hugely affects ski resort businesses in Tignes – Val d’Isere and Paradiski, as many have significant British customer bases. If your pound buys you less euros, it could leave families with less to spend on their holidays here. How would an OUT vote affect the value of the pound? If the effect of the announcement of the referendum is anything to go by, it won’t be good.
A spokesperson for Currencies Direct said: “All indications are that investors are reacting to the mayor’s call for a ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance to vote for real change in Britain’s relations with Europe’. The market volatility surrounding the referendum isn’t going away and is very likely to continue to devalue Sterling.
“Whether you plan to trade Sterling into a foreign currency before the referendum, are potentially buying a property abroad, or have ongoing overseas payments to manage, it’s vital to stay right up to date with this continuously moving situation.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Even if you’re not going to be in the UK on June 23, you can still vote in the referendum. Register online now for a postal vote or to nominate a proxy voter, to make sure your voice is heard.