Expats seem to have turned their backs on the UK for good

British expats are painting a rather gloomy picture of the Sceptred Isle; they’re choosing to leave home and not come back. A recent survey conducted by Lloyds TSB International came up with some figures regarding British citizens currently living in other countries and their plans for the future. More than three fourths (79%) of Brits living away from home said they did not intend to return to Britain – ever.

The survey questioned 1,168 Brits living abroad in 13 of the most favoured destination countries for expats. Based on their answers, France topped the list for quality of life as compared to the UK, but Australia was the country with the largest percentage of expats (nine out of ten) who expected to remain there indefinitely. Overall, the trend is definitely ‘away’ as far as wandering Brits are concerned; a year ago only 60% had no plans to return to the UK, now it’s almost 80%.

Reasons given include several different factors, with the economic situation a crucial concern for most. However if you take notice of the comments from expats in response to Lloyds’ survey results, one of the strongest motives for staying away from home is the ‘depressed’ attitude and ‘dirty’ appearance that the majority of British expats mention when they describe returning to the UK for a visit.

Richard Musty, private bank director at Lloyds TSB International, observed that more and more UK citizens who undertake temporary employment in other countries are putting down permanent roots. He said many of those who experienced different cultures and lifestyles found them more ‘alluring’ than the UK. That is an important factor, he said – possibly more so than job opportunities and material gains.

For some, the weather alone is a deciding factor, and of course taxes, cost of living and all the usual gripes of any highly developed society anywhere on the planet all come into play. It’s quite likely, according to some analysts, that in future this outgoing trend will reverse itself, but at present, to most expats, that future looks rosier right where they are.