After the 2008-2009 financial crisis, some people in the UK thought that it couldn’t get that bad again. They were wrong. London is learning the hard way that tough times can return sooner than anyone thought. I mean that sympathetically, as I lived in London for 4 years and still have friends there. More and more, it’s becoming obvious that the promises of the Leave Campaign were part of a tragic Brexit hoax.
When the UK voted to leave the EU, which I wrote about last year, a new downward momentum kicked in which London is feeling the brunt of. The UK as a whole is still doing ok, but it hasn’t actually left the EU yet.
The Leave Campaign said it would be the beginning of a new era of prosperity and glory. That was a pile of crap. Almost everything they said was a lie. For example, the voters are still waiting for the £350 Million extra per week for the National Health Service that they were promised.
With the UK economy in general, whatever happens first in London tends to happen to the rest of the UK later. London is a kind of economic front-runner for the UK in that way. So taking a closer look at London should tell us what will happen to the rest of the country later. Let’s look first at the property situation.
Average London property prices are around the same level as 2009, according to Bloomberg and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. This means that many people who bought a property when prices were at an all-time low, are actually no better off now. They’ve been paying a mortgage for about 8 years, but can only sell the house for about what they paid for it.
The jobs front doesn’t look any better. It’s only a matter of time before several thousands of financial services jobs move abroad. But where to? There isn’t any one city which could handle a mass migration of finance jobs, so probably those jobs will be split up among:
I don’t mean to be a Negative Nelly here, so let’s look at the bright side too. I stand by what I wrote last year and for the outlook for 2017, when I said that there would be opportunities too. Some individual British companies can still do well and can still be a good stock investment. The new lows in property prices could be an opportunity as well.
Not all the UK needs to suffer because of the Brexit hoax. Northern Ireland’s economy is tightly integrated with the Republic of Ireland’s economy. The Irish Republic is the most pro-EU country in Europe, and it will definitely continue to be a member. As long the rest of Ireland is doing ok, Northern Ireland can do ok too.
And as an expat who’s worked around the world, I encourage UK job-seekers to consider looking for job openings in other countries. I know from my own experience how much it can broaden your mind when you live and work abroad. It changes your entire outlook on life and the world.