Do you remember the “Dear Start-ups, keep calm and move to Berlin” van? It drove around Silicon Roundabout just a few days after Britain voted to leave the EU. Perhaps you also saw the “Hands off our hipsters” tweets that followed. While funny at the time, it seemed like people were using humour to mask a real concern.

Since last June’s referendum, hardly a day has gone by without media reports of potential British job losses. There has also been a lot written about the uncertainty felt by EU nationals who have made the UK their home. If all this has left you and your family feeling anxious or confused about the future, you’re certainly not alone. 

Reports of the estimated number of banking and finance jobs at risk have ranged from a conservative 9,000 to in excess of 100,000, and everything in between. According to a report from the LSE, the effects of Brexit are likely to be felt across banking, asset management, insurance, reinsurance, clearing and related professional services, such as law, consultancy and accountancy. To add to the nation’s jitters, up to a third of UK manufacturing firms are reportedly looking to shift some of their operations to the EU.

Are we right to fear the Brexit Brain Drain?

Some commentators believe the risk of job losses is being overplayed. And, they may be right. While many banks, in particular, have threatened to move jobs away from London, there’s been little real action so far.

However, the question marks remain – and many EU nationals are not hanging around to find out whether they’ll still be welcome in a non-EU Britain. According to the latest report from consultants Baker McKenzie, over half of skilled workers say they are likely to leave the UK before they know the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. These worries are not just the preserve of City workers either. Much of our science and research funding, and even the opportunities for student internships, are also up in the air. 

In fact, according to the Guardian, there has already been a 30% rise in the number of EU nationals leaving British universities in the last year. Certainly foreign direct investment agencies, from Paris and Frankfurt to Amsterdam and Dublin, have been quick in their attempts to lure financiers, start-ups and researchers. With such economic and political uncertainty, it’s no surprise UK-based jobseekers might be prompted to look elsewhere.

The full implications of Brexit remain uncertain – and we may not know how real the risks are for a year or more. However, if you feel now is the time to explore opportunities further afield then the team at CityCV can help. We have first-hand knowledge of working in the EU and around the world.

Our experts can guide you through the challenges of applying for work overseas. They know about the languages spoken and the cultural differences, as well as the types of qualifications that each country recognises. This attention to detail helped us win the prestigious TORI award for ‘best international CV’.

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