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LONDON – The UK has fallen 29 places in an annual ranking of the best destinations for global expats, with the compiler of the ranking blaming the political turmoil that has followed last year’s Brexit vote.
The Internations survey, which takes the views of around 13,000 expats on factors such as cost and quality of life and job security, ranked Bahrain, Costa Rica, and Mexico as the best countries for those seeking a new life abroad.
The UK came in at 54, below Kazakhstan (35), the US (43), and Peru (47).
Malte Zeeck, Internations CEO, said in a telephone interview with Business Insider: “We’ve definitely seen Brexit in the survey.”
“A big reason is the political stability. Less than half [of expats] rate UK political stability positively and there’s been a 30 percentage point drop regarding this topic. It’s a major setback to the UK.”
“You see the same with job security and the economy. The UK here lost 20 percentage points. When it comes to the state of the economy or political stability the strongest countries are Switzerland and Luxembourg, which can be attributed to the UK being seen as less politically stable,” he said.
The survey found that over a quarter of expats have felt unwelcome due to their nationality. 18% said they felt unwelcome in Britain “at least sometimes”, 6% felt unwelcome “frequently,” and 2% even answered “all the time.”
The Brexit vote has led to a shift in the UK government’s attitude to immigration. On Tuesday, the Guardian leaked Home Office plans to end agreements to allow the free movement of European Union citizens and toughen rules over family moves.