The last few days have been hard. For most of the last few weeks we’ve been focusing entirely on the logistics of our move and with those sorted we’ve had time to turn our attention to cash flow and in the post-Brexit economy it’s not pretty, not at all.
Basically we’re chasing a dream, taking an opportunity – post-redundancy – to take our savings, having taken the strategic decision a while ago to save rather than go down the home “owner” route, and make a new life for ourselves. This means everything we have is earmarked to fund our future. Everything. Right now we have no income; no jobs, just dreams and ideas to take us forward. We want to build something together and give our kids a better future than we feel they can have here in the UK. That was our plan, even before Brexit. But now Brexit has happened, taking a huge chunk of our hopes and dreams with it.
The Remain camp talked about the economic impact of Brexit during their campaign but Gove and his cronies dismissed it as doom mongering, labelling such talk as “Project Fear”, brushing off analysis supporting this claim, which came from the Bank of England, the IMF, and others, because we’re all just so sick of these so-called “experts” and their expert opinions, right? Well wouldn’t you know, these experts were right!
I think one of the reasons James and are have been hit so hard emotionally by Brexit (if you could see our Facebook feeds you’d know this) is because James can read the foreign exchange charts and right now they’re not pretty. The pound is plumetting against the euro, the dollar, and the yen. What this means is that life in Britain just got more expensive because where on 23rd June £10 bought, say, five packs of antidepressants, today it only buys four. That’s really not good news if you’re feeling as miserable as I am but even worse news when considered as part of the bigger picture. UK Plc has been making a slow and steady recovery since the banking crash in 2008, in part due to the horrendous “austerity” budgeting imposed on us all but having the greatest impact on poorest and most in need. Tragically, the decision of many to vote Leave – whether voting in protest, longing for the good old days, wanting to “restore” sovereignty, or purely because they have been suckered into blaming immigrants for many of their woes (and blame the EU for just about everything else, as politicians would have them believe) – has effectively caused as much financial damage as the banking sector did with their mishandling of just about everything back in 2008. The main difference now is there’s no Fred Goodwin or any other highly paid executive to take the fall or the blame for it as we are all going to pay for this. The Leave voters, along with everyone else who saw this coming and tried to warn them, are about to pay what amounts to collective punishment as the weak pound, which will take who knows how long to recover, erodes all our quality of life.
In short, anyone planning to escape the UK, as we are, had better do it fast. Not just because our EU citizenship is under threat, meaning we can no longer take freedom of movement for granted, but also because as each day passes we become that little bit poorer because the value of the pound is falling and falling. Can you imagine a reality where you get <1 euro to the pound? Well it could happen.
Happy days? Not even close. And if, like us, you were planning to depart for the continent any time soon, the repercussions are up close and personal.
And I still haven’t talked to my parents. Guess which way they voted?