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Is Brexit Affecting the Removals Industry?

With just over 3 months till the Brexit extension ends of the 31st of October, the majority of the people in the UK are still at a loss as to how it will affect them in terms of holidays, taxes, but more importantly moving! We look at the issues raised by Brexit and find out if it really has had an effect on the Removals Industry in general?

As the 31st of October deadline looms ever closer, we’re still no clearer as to the outcome or even the style of deal we’re likely to get come November. In fact, at the moment of writing Boris Johnson has been announced as the new PM. The second PM in a row not to be elected to office by the people. This unpredictability and uncertainty has left many home movers in limbo, unsure whether to move, or unsure if they can actually move to the EU without facing higher taxes or tarrifs. So here’s what we know so far and how we think the removal industry will fair post-Brexit.

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A No Deal Brexit

A No Deal Brexit is something we’re all quite worried about. If this option does happen then any European Moves will become a lot more difficult. Not only would the free movement of goods and people to and from the UK be blocked, it would require customs clearance at every border you would pass through.

In the event of a No Deal Brexit there is the possibility of additional documentation being required to live or work in your country of destination in the form of a (ToR) Transfer of Residence.

As a result, any moves booked or scheduled post 31st of October 2019 might be subject to additional costs or fees, which will no doubt be passed onto the customer to swallow the extra costs, or even face cancellations.

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Travel & Holidays

Have you booked to go abroad to the EU post October 31st this year? Have you even considered the possibility of extra documents, passes, waivers or even health insurance? The good news is that our Health Insurance cards are still valid until 2021, so we can use them on the continent if we have a need to, and not have to face any extra medical costs.

However, you’re not guaranteed that there won’t be any flight price increases, delays or even cancellations. So please be sure to check your holiday insurance covers you for things like cancellations, or you’ll be left without any protection against potential losses and delays.

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Estate Agents

Looking at data from estate agents is always a good benchmark to see how the industry is developing. In one recent survey an estate agent surveyed 1200 customers to get their views on how Brexit has affected their moves. Out of these 1200 customers 13% of them had cancelled their moves becuase of Brexit.

Moving to online esate agents ReallyMoving.com looked at a total of 115,388 estimates they had sent out. In the estimates provided, moving from the UK to the EU estimates were down to 23% in 2019, compared to 42% in 2016. Looking at the reverse, going from the EU into the UK, they were also down to a figure of 22% compared to 66% in 2016. A huge drop on both counts and subtle sign that the immigration campaign certainly affected people’s perception of the UK as a whole.

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Online Trends

If we take a look at search results from Google Trends since Brexit was announced we can see some interesting removal trends. There was a remarkable increase in searches for “getting an irish passport” and “moving to Gibralter“.

In 2016 there was a surge in searches asking “what is the EU?” which gradually increased until June 24 when it peaked, surprisingly enough the day after the UK voted to leave the UK.

After 2016 these type of searches began to die down only to make a resurgence at the start of 2019 as the deadline loomed closer. What is really interesting is that search terms like “immigration” were searched a lot more than search terms such as “uk economy” or “eu economy“. This demonstrates that our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit campaign based on immigration rather than the economy certainly worked.

Looking at more relevant moving searches, there was a huge spike on June 24 of people search UK move to Spain, France, Amercia & Italy (in that order). So for the Removal Industry it would come as no surprise that the overseas market exploded in the second half of 2016.

Unfortunately since then things have gradually declined, and now those that were looking to move, are hanging on waiting to find out the result of Brexit before they make their move, literally. If we look at the amount of searches to move abroad we’ve now actually declined to pre-2014 levels of searches.

Overall I think it’s very clear that Brexit has indeed affected the Removal Industry, and not in a positive way. Not only are the public alone and unsure as to what might happen next, but the Removals Industry (and quite a few other industries) are too. Now that Mr Johnson is the PM we can only hope he delivers what he has promised, or we can expect more disappointment and uncertainty in the Removals Industry for a few years yet.

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