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LQD: Brexodus has begun

by Gag Halfrunt Sat Jul 1st, 2017 at 07:09:54 PM EST

I don't suppose this will surprise any regular readers.

Brexodus has begun. We EU nationals know staying on is too big a gamble | Joris Luyendijk | The Guardian | 30/06/2017

It will not happen in spectacular ways, so do not expect TV footage of hordes of well-heeled EU nationals making for Heathrow airport or the Channel tunnel. Rather it will be a steady, inexorable drip-feed. It has already started and as the true implications of Brexit sink in the number will swell. Call it the Brexodus: well-educated EU nationals with the global job market at their feet turning their back on a country they had thought of as a good and safe place to make their homes.

A Deloitte study, published this week, reveals that nearly half of all highly skilled EU workers could leave the UK within five years. This may have been news to many Britons, but not to the 3 million EU nationals in this country. Some of us have already left and others are actively making plans. Many know at least one EU national or family who have left already. Everybody is considering their options - and for good reason.

One thing I hadn't realised is that some EU nationals might have to sacrifice their original citizenships to get British citizenship because of their own countries' rules.
Highly educated EU nationals know that they have highly sought-after skills - many of us are not in British jobs taken by Europeans but in European jobs done in Britain. Why not take that job with us back to the EU? And why risk investing in a country that could turn on you at any moment? This question is even more urgent for those from Austria, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Estonia or Lithuania: countries that make it very difficult for their citizens to acquire a second nationality.

Front paged - Frank Schnittger

But wasn't that the whole point of Brexit, to get rid of all those furriners who are taking jobs that Brits could do - if they want to - and if they have the requisite skills?

There are possibly two extreme archetypes of EU nationals in the UK... Firstly, well qualified professionals who could probably gain similar employment elsewhere, and who may well take valuable business and expertise with them resulting in a significant long term loss to the UK economy.

Secondly, poorly qualified workers - often from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and other eastern European states doing manual, difficult and poorly remunerated work no one else wants to do - for the wages that are on offer.  They often work long hours and sleep in poor accommodation on or near their workplace.

Those industries which employ them - marginal agricultural, fishing, and services industries will struggle to operate without them, and will either have to invest heavily to automate the work, or pay higher wages to less willing UK workers. Those businesses will either go to the wall, or end up adding significantly to UK cost inflation.

Either way, the UK economy will be heavily impacted.  UK nationals in the EU, on the other hand, are often retired and contribute less to the EU economy through their labour, even if their expenditure adds to EU economic activity.

In Spain many are still tax resident in the UK, even though they have been living in Spain for many years and should have changed their tax residency to Spanish.  I suspect the Spanish authorities will take a less lenient view in the future.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jul 1st, 2017 at 10:25:05 PM EST
My nephew, who followed my sister out to Spain, has had to return because his client base of British nationals having building work done to their houses, has completely vanished because uncertainty about their future has caused them to stop home improvements. As my nephew was uncertain of his own status, he decided to bite the bullet and move back.

He's very fortunate in that he had a rather varied set of work experiences that led him into a very well paid and secure job here. But I doubt he'll be the only person forced back.

After all, health care is important to them and if the reciprocal arrangments about payments aren't agreed an awful lot of pensioners are suddenly going to have to pay for healthcare or come home.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 11:57:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Brexodus theme song: "This land ain't mine.  God gave this land to UKIP...."
by rifek on Sun Jul 2nd, 2017 at 10:22:39 PM EST
I came across this the other day, from last year's August:

Would you pick fruit and veg for very low pay? No? We have a problem - the Guardian

In a recent report, the chairman of a large produce firm, said that "no British person wants a seasonal job working in the fields. They want permanent jobs or jobs that are not quite as taxing physically."

So companies like this rely on up to 70,000 foreign workers to pick, sort and pack fruit and vegetables. They are more willing to get their hands dirty for low pay. The same is the case in many other British industries. Not many of us want to be employed cleaning up a slaughter house, for example, so eastern European workers are vital.

But this arrangement is now seriously at risk following the Brexit vote. The British Growers Association has warned that if these seasonal workers are not given special permits to enter the country, the whole industry will be in dire straits. Labour shortages would probably force producers to close or relocate overseas.

This might seem like just another economic problem. But it holds implications for national security according to Erica Consterdine from the University of Sussex's Centre for Migration Research. For her, the failure to consider the importance of these foreign seasonal workers in a post-Brexit world means that "it's looking pretty bad in terms of the security of the food supply chain. It would be disastrous."

by Bjinse on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 07:00:39 AM EST
The Conversation - Caroline Nye - The real reasons why British workers won't pick fruit

Farmers are used to looking into the future. Their livelihoods depend on taking a decent guess about everything from the weather to market forces. But a recent survey reveals that a new level of uncertainty looms on the horizon for post-Brexit farming in Britain.

Many in the survey said they were experiencing increased difficulty in recruiting seasonal workers since the EU referendum. Some suggested these labour shortages could result in a decrease in domestic food production followed by inflated prices of some produce caused by a total reliance on imports.

These shortages are not the result of any enforced changes in legislation, as Brexit negotiations have yet to be completed. This means that even if something like the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) (which enabled a set quota of Eastern European workers to come and work on labour-short farms) is reintroduced, the industry might still be in hot water.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 11:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An FB friend posted this comment in response to this essay;-

In order to get British unemployed workers to do seasonal work like fruit picking, the following five reforms would have to take place:

  1. The entire benefits system would have to be radically altered to allow people to sign off and sign on again easily and without sanctions.

  2. The in-work benefits system (housing benefit, tax credits, child tax credits) would have to be radically altered to allow someone who was registered at a specific address for most of the year to be able to keep their home at that address over the period during which they were temporarily housed elsewhere near the cropland/orchards.

  3. Farmers would have to pay their seasonal workers enough so that doing a season's work picking fruit would be financially attractive to British workers. And would likely have to schedule their picking work into 40-hour weeks with two days off.

  4. Government would have to come up with some real, solid incentives to benefit anyone who's willing tp spend a season picking fruit, besides the ability to save up a nice little packet of money.

  5. Supermarkets would have to stop the practice of screwing farmers down so that supermarkets maximise profits for themselves and minimise profits for farmers, with knock-on effects on farm labourer wages.

And finally: Consumers would have to accept that if you want fresh fruit in season, hand-picked by British workers, it's going to be expensive.

More expensive than when fruit is picked by migrant workers who aren't being paid minimum wage.

As none of these reforms are at all likely, I anticipate that one of the knock-on effects of Brexit is either even more illegal immigrants working under highly adverse conditions to which government enforcers turn a blind eye because "everyone knows" we need them: or else, the complete collapse of most farming that requires seasonal picking labour; even more food imported from overseas.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 11:45:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the pound goes down, the relative cost of hiring workers in Britain compared to importing, also goes down. And if it is a hard Brexit with customs on agricultural produce that passes the channel the relative cost of hiring in Britain goes down even more.

The political changes on the other hand, well that doesn't sound likely to happen.

by fjallstrom on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 02:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The cost of hiring doesn't go down relative to the UK economy.

Minimum wage remains minimum wage, and local produce remains local produce with local margins. The numbers only change if the produce is for export (mostly not) or if workers are hired from abroad because locals won't do the work (possible, but increasingly expensive.)

Just because import tariffs make foreign food more expensive doesn't mean the local economy grows automatically to take up the slack. There's still the possibility of a dead zone in which affordable local prices don't cover costs even as foreign prices become completely unaffordable.

This has the makings of a complete market failure. Combine an impoverished population which can't afford to pay a realistic price for food, with farmers who can't afford to stay in business without subsidies (nonexistent) or cheap labour (also nonexistent), and the most likely outcome is bankrupt farmers and food shortages.

The worst case is an authoritarian dictatorship which forces people to work on farms at gun point. Worryingly, this may be the only practical way to solve the problem - short of an even more extreme measure, such as cancelling Brexit.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 03:25:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with forcing people to work on farms (more likely at risk of losing benefits) is that there's still no housing or transport. It would end up just as expensive as doing things properly, although the compulsion/punishment of the unemployed aspect would probably appeal to the authoritarians

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 05:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where does the influx of seasonal workers that have been working in the UK currently stay?

In the Netherlands there have been a few nasty schemes of farming companies that included (compulsory) housing and meals for seasonal workers at the farm were they working, and that proceeded to rip seasonal workers off by withholding up to 90 percent of their paycheck as compensation...

by Bjinse on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 10:34:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they live in doss houses or tents. Thanks to austerity local councils simply haven't got the staff to chase up rogue landlords, especially out in the country. And nobody cares about migrant labour anyway.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 04:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could be worse. Look at those North Koreans who are 'sent out' by their government to work on Polish fields.

I hear that compensation rip off is done by a lot of model agencies.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 08:45:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jul 5th, 2017 at 09:26:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even before coming to such extremes, it looks like domestic food will become more expensive without much relief from imported food that will be more expensive too.

Net effect: Most people will have to spend a higher - sometimes much higher - share of their income for food. Other expenses will have to be cut, such has vacation jaunts in the Canaries or Ibiza, not to mention farther flung destinations. Easy Jet and other carriers will suffer along with Cook, Thomson and other travel businesses.

Looks like a more frugal life ahead, like it was for most Britons in the 1950s and 60s...

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 06:40:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another way is to mostly eat chips.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 06:52:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Community and private gardens will likely bloom.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 8th, 2017 at 05:35:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Due to ridiculous land prices, gardens are generally handkerchief sized.

And the poorer and more likely to be needy the person, the smaller the amount of land likely to be available to them. Growing some herbs on a window ledge may be the realistic option

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 01:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only marginally relevant to the particular discussion of modern British conditions, but still ...

There have been times and places in the past where it was simply not profitable for market-oriented farmers to pay for labor. This led to rather rapid shifts to smaller owner-operated farms, where family labor was highly motivated to work their own farm because they actually profited from their own labor.

Not terribly likely in the modern situation, for all the reasons mentioned elsewhere in the thread. I'd also like to toss out compulsory schooling as another reason for the decline in willingness to do farm labor. People get used to living and working in a certain way, and for kids who are used to being imprisoned indoors for 8 hours a day most of the year, the transition to working outside is just a bridge too far.

by Zwackus on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 12:12:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compulsory schooling has been the rule in France since the end of 19th century while at the same time the majority of the population was living in rural areas (until the 1950s that is). School has not prevented children from helping the parents with farm work and teachers knew quite well that most children would miss school during several days at harvest time; they just adapted without much fuss.
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 07:30:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes but the gradual rise of the average school leaving age has removed an important cohort from the market for low paid, low qualifications labour. Seasonal labour has been less effected because long summer holidays for 2nd. and 3rd. level students has provided a supply for such labour, but seasonal labour that falls out side of of school holidays - e.g. September/October harvests - has been more effected.

Also, it is one thing for students to slum it for a couple of months in the summer doing manual work and living in dingy accommodation - we've (nearly) all done it  - and quite another thing to aspire to such work as a career. In my experience (in the 1970's) such work was nearly always done by foreign (including a lot of Irish) students in the UK and wasn't the done thing for British students who seemed to have grants or other reasons for not having to tolerate a subsistence living.

It would require a huge social transformation in the UK for such work to become acceptable for middle class UK students again, especially if foreign students are also discouraged from attending UK colleges by higher (relative) fees and /or onerous visa requirements. At the moment even subsistence UK wages are attractive if you come from a very low wage economy like Romania, but if the value of Sterling falls much further and the economy in Romania improves, that attractiveness could diminish very rapidly.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 08:20:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same in the US due to Der Drumpfenfuehrer's War on Immigrants, especially Latinos.  Crops didn't get planted, and they doubly aren't going to get harvested.  Also, most of the roofers, siders, and drywallers in residential construction have gone to ground, not to mention lawn care and maid service workers.
by rifek on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Compared to LA, having your lawn tended by a gardener in Mountain Home, Arkansas, USA is stunningly more expensive. $40-$50/week or more here vs. $40/month in LA. So I do it myself. Likewise for installing irrigation systems underground, etc.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 8th, 2017 at 05:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(There is NO cheap Latino labor available in whitey white northern Arkansas.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 8th, 2017 at 05:41:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought that lawns in California were tended by green paint.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jul 8th, 2017 at 06:06:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As everybody suspected;-

Independent - May Bulman - Brexit: People voted to leave EU because they feared immigration, major survey finds

Britain's vote to leave the EU was the result of widespread anti-immigration sentiment, rather than a wider dissatisfaction with politics, according to a major survey of social attitudes in the UK.

Findings from the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey published on Wednesday show Brexit was the result of widespread concern over the numbers of people coming to the UK - millions of whom have done so under the EU's freedom of movement rules in recent years.

The research, collated by the National Centre for Social Research through a survey of nearly 3,000 British people, states suggestions by politicians and others that the Brexit vote represented a lightning rod for a general disenchantment with politics were  "widely off the mark".

So, it's no surprise people are leaving, they know when they're not wanted

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 11:48:20 AM EST
I think using the quesiton about trust in national institutions - "Trust in Government" and "Trust in Parliament" - as proxies for general political disenchantment risks mixing the general distrust of politics with the national vs EU level of politics. Pity they didn't ask a similar question about trust in EU level institutions (though it would probably have been needed to simplify it into "Trust in the EU").

I think it is also noticable that when asked about the UK-EU relationship, the support for an increased role of the EU decreased already in 1996-1998 and support for status quo decreased in 2008-2012 while support for leave increased. So in 2015 we have 65% supporting either leaving or staying but reducing EUs powers compared with 40% in 1992 when the series started. In 2016 these increase to 76% and shift from mostly stay to mostly leave, but much of the groundwork was already there.

Here are their own conclusions:


Social consequences of EU membership
Concerns about the social consequences of EU membership were key in influencing how people voted in the EU referendum.
  • 73% of those who are worried about immigration voted Leave, compared with 36% of those who did not identify this as a concern.
  • 72% of those holding `authoritarian' views voted to leave, compared with 21% of those holding `libertarian' views.
  • Multivariate analysis found that, for the most part, only items associated with people's sense of national identity and cultural outlook were significantly associated with vote choice.

Dissatisfaction with politics
Dissatisfaction with politics was less important in influencing how people voted in the EU referendum.
  • 45% of those who trust government a great deal or tend to trust it voted to leave, compared with 65% of those who distrust it greatly.
  • However, there was a greater increase in turnout among those with little interest in politics, as compared with the 2015 general election. 43% of those with no interest in politics voted in the EU referendum, up from 30% in the 2015 general election. Nevertheless, these proportions remain markedly lower than those for people with a "great deal" (90% in 2016
and 88% in 2015) or "quite a lot" of interest in politics (89% and 86%).

I can't find the appendix where the details of the multivariate analysis is supposed to be found.

by fjallstrom on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 02:51:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The article, "Brexit: People voted to leave EU because they feared immigration, major survey finds", doesn't define "social consequences" that Leavers associate with the free movement of people into the UK. Apart from national pride and purity might the majority who sanctioned [!] BREXIT and sanctioned [!] Tory austerity fear further competition with immigrants for dwindling "social services" such as universal credit, bedroom taxes, minimum-wage work in construction, and so forth?

I noted with interest two related articles. Here housing market profiteers correlate rising costs in Austria with a forthcoming wave of immigrants, in particular "destitute asylum seekers" (Guardian, Jan 2017) from Britain, Africa, and the Greater Middle East. After accepting 90K of these, Austria's re-location exemption expires September 2017

Property prices around 39 percent higher than six years ago

A new house in Austria (123m2) now costs on average €359,000.
Bargain prices for older properties can be found in Burgenland, Carinthia and Styria - with average prices for a house between €230,000 and €290,000.
Rental prices for new properties have risen steeply, by 21 percent, with average costs now €11,50 per square metre. In Vienna council-owned properties, where rents tend to be cheaper and only rise according to inflation, are in high demand. ..."There are not enough properties available and this problem will increase. Around 300,000 people are expected to move to Vienna over the next few years... and the city has not prepared for this."

'Huge gaps' in Vienna housing market
The CEO of property management company Buwog, Andreas Holler, told a press conference that not enough homes are being built and urged the city government to devote more time and money to planning new developments. Vienna's population has grown by 150,578 people since 2010 - and just last year it grew by another 43,236 people, largely due to increased immigration and the refugee crisis.
The average household in Vienna has just two people.

Can UK's Leaver's be persuaded that a similar opportunity to cash in their equity awaits the arrival of immigrants?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 10:09:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because "destitute asylum seekers" are pushing up the prices of €300K properties...
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 07:26:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 5th, 2017 at 09:29:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that Bratislava in Slovakia is just 50 Km away with a good railway connection, do house prices in Vienna matter?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jul 4th, 2017 at 04:01:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why attribute sentiment to that rational behavior which can be explained by adverse FX arbitrage, or the shrinking GBP:EUR spread?

imports > labor
Britain has been swapping elderly expats for young Spanish workers

A joint report published by the Office for National Statistics and Spain's INE recorded ... around 40 percent of Britons in Spain are retired, a figure that has more than doubled in the last decade, the Spaniards relocating to Britain are a whole lot younger.

Around half of the Spanish citizens resident in the UK are aged 20-39 and 59 percent of the total 116,000 have permanent employment.

imports > commodities > agriculture
The Brexit effect: 'Sudden drop' in Italian food and drink exports to the UK

[The UK] is also the fourth biggest importer of Italian food products. After wine and prosecco, the most important items are pasta, fruits and vegetables, and cheese. And after the UK voted to leave the bloc, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly explicitly threatened Italy's economic development minister with a drop in prosecco sales if the UK was not allowed to stay in the single market.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jul 3rd, 2017 at 12:41:54 PM EST
by Gag Halfrunt on Thu Jul 6th, 2017 at 11:35:17 AM EST
Deutsche Bank sizes up Frankfurt for post-Brexit trading shift: source - Reuters
Deutsche Bank is evaluating whether to move a large part of its securities trading business from London to Frankfurt or elsewhere in Europe as it prepares for Britain's exit from the European Union, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

Germany's largest lender is considering creating a booking center for non-UK transactions which are currently reported through London, the person said on condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing and the plans not yet finalised.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) will make changes as Brexit negotiations unfold, but the bank is preparing for a worst-case Brexit scenario that could entail a loss of so-called passporting rights between Britain and the EU, the person said.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jul 6th, 2017 at 02:44:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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