Brits face fading passport power

LONDON, 22 August 2019: With just 10 weeks to go until the 31 October Brexit deadline, British nationals are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential decline in their passport power.

As millions return from their visa-free summer holidays abroad, there is a growing acknowledgement that the British passport may soon not be what it used to be in terms of global mobility and settlement freedom.

More than 5 million British passport holders live permanently outside the UK.

“Hard” Brexit, “soft” Brexit, no deal, or even a second referendum all could result in unpredictable implications for British passport holders, from the ease of doing business and travelling abroad, to the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the EU.

Over the past 14 years, the UK passport has consistently held one of the top five places on the Henley Passport Index.

However, with its exit from the EU now imminent, coupled with ongoing confusion around the terms of its departure, the UK’s once-strong position looks increasingly uncertain, with the British passport falling out of the top five on the global ranking for the first time in July this year.

Henley & Partners chief executive officer Dr Juerg Steffen, says they have seen a 200% increase in British nationals applying for residence- and citizenship-by-investment programmes over the past two years. He reported a significant spike recently in enquiries about investment migration options from both British as well as Hong Kong citizens who are identified as high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs).