What Does Brexit Mean for British Expats Residing in Malta?
If British expats were concerned in the summer of 2016, they are even more confused at the moment! With the second Brexit date already come and gone with no leaving of the EU, the UK is still having issues in Parliament getting opposing parties to agree on a no deal exit or a much softer approach. While the right wants a hard (and undoubtedly fast) exit, there are moderates who want a more amiable approach.
A no deal exit would put many expats throughout Europe at a disadvantage and this is worrisome both to those expats already making homes throughout the EU as well as those who had planned to relocate for better work opportunities. They had sought out amazing real estate in Malta and were set to make the move when another Brexit date indicated that the only certainty was the state of uncertainty. So what does Brexit mean for British expats already residing in Malta, and what can they expect if a no deal Brexit should ensue? Here is some of what we know.
Certain Professions Are in Great Demand
Malta has always been a leading Mediterranean holiday resort for Britons seeking warmer climates and more sun than they could ever hope for at home. While the island nation kept up with technology, the lifestyle continued to be more leisurely than at home in the UK and the Maltese are an outwardly friendly and family oriented people by culture. Malta welcomes expats from around the world and now as a member of the EU, the official currency is the Euro and they are also affected by Brexit in ways yet to be determined.
However, even having said that, there are several professions in great demand. The financial sector is seeing major growth, especially since so many financial institutions have already found a home there following the Brexit vote. Within this industry, there are specialists in areas such as banking and investments, but in recent years Maltese gaming regulations have opened the doors to financial advisers and specialists in the iGaming industry.
The iGaming Industry in Malta Is Thriving
Since the regulatory climate for gaming in Malta is also undergoing changes, there is a greater demand for legal and financial counsel. Anyone with experience in gaming or finance will find placement easily, and those with a solid grasp of international law with an emphasis on gaming would do well to set up shop there. It is reported that the iGaming industry has seen thousands of startups within recent years which has given rise to a demand for knowledgeable workers in the field.
From lawyers to techies to entrepreneurs, the iGaming industry is growing at unprecedented rates on this tiny island nation, and Brexit should actually be a boon to the industry. How Malta will deal with the UK’s final Brexit strategy can’t be known until Parliament agrees a strategy, but it is felt that the iGaming industry will continue to be a powerhouse for British expats already at home there or soon to make the move.
Anticipated Approach to Brexit in Malta
Although many EU nations are unsettled as to how they will deal with British expats after the 31 October delay on Brexit set by Parliament, it is expected that Malta will take a much more liberal approach than other EU countries. The reason for this is simple on the surface. As a tiny nation that has always seen the tourist industry as their major player, the financial sector (including gaming) has seen meteoritic growth in recent years. As mentioned, this is largely due to Maltese regulations and the way at which the nation embraces expats from almost every country around the globe.
Due to this growth, it is expected that Malta will deal much more liberally with expats working or running a company on the island. Their laws are, indeed, about to see some radical changes, but nothing that would hinder expats from starting a business or finding employment in Malta. Even a ‘no deal’ Brexit, if voted by Malta, would be softer than a French or German no deal, it is thought.
Expats in Malta Seem Unconcerned
Finally, something should be said about the attitude of expats currently residing in Malta. They largely seem unconcerned by the upcoming 31 October delay for Brexit. Most continue to go about their daily lives and are planning major growth within their respective industries. Once again, iGaming is on the rise due to liberal regulations and as such, there is a great demand for talent on the island.
Expats are still reaching out to friends and colleagues back home which shows just how unconcerned they appear to be. Major growth is expected to continue, and although it would be wise to monitor the situation, Malta still appears to be highly favourable to expats seeking luxury residences and lucrative positions in the financial and iGaming industries.