It is like the children of Israel fleeing the pharonic hordes. The expats are heading home; and it is the crashing pound that points the way back to Blighty.
Should we feel sorry for them? Should we shed a sympathetic tear for those that abandoned the motherland for warmer climates and more amenable house prices?
Frankly, I am in two minds. Anyone who moves abroad while retaining a sterling based income is asking for trouble. That is what banks call an open position. Since sterling has fallen from about 1.50 euros to almost parity, anyone earning sterling and spending in euros is bound to be in deep trouble. This kind of problem is entirely foreseeable. So, it is hard to feel terribly sympathetic.
However, something stops me from been too hard on our overseas brethren. The expats are the canaries in the coal mine. They are signaling that something is deeply askew with the UK economy. We have the lowest interest rates in 60 years, the biggest fiscal deficit since the war, and the economy is recession. It would be a strange world if the national currency didn’t reflect these difficulties. The returning expats are warning us that things are about to get really nasty next year.
So, I say welcome home expats. However, the way things are going here you might wish you stayed where you were.