Brits Want To Move To This Country After Brexit

Photo: Unsplash.
In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, many of us said we'd had enough of the UK. Feeling shocked and desperate, leaving the country seemed like the only hope for young progressives. Pub chats became opportunities to brainstorm dream destinations in which to live our new lives.

Well, it seems some of us really are planning to emigrate after the Leave campaign's victory – and they've set their sights on New Zealand.

The country is preparing for a "British invasion", according to the New Zealand Herald, as immigration inquiries from Brits hit a record high after the Brexit vote.

More than 10,500 people from Britain have registered their interest in moving to New Zealand on the country's immigration website since the referendum, the newspaper reported. There were just 4599 registrations from the UK over the same period last year.

In a typical month, around 3000 Brits interested in studying, working or investing in New Zealand will register with the website.

However, somewhat tellingly, on the day of the referendum result, 998 British people registered their interest, compared with just 109 the day before.

Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University said Brits interested in New Zealand were "tired of a narrow-minded Britain". He told the New Zealand Herald: "New Zealand is very different, it is multicultural, very tolerant and it's got a good lifestyle and a more temperate climate."

He added: "Migrants move for lifestyle reasons as much as they do for economic reasons, and New Zealand has a pretty good deal on offer."

According to another academic, the surge in interest mirrors the 1980s when "political refugees" emigrated to avoid Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Professor John Morgan, a British expat and academic at the University of Auckland, told The Guardian: "New Zealand is really appealing for Brits because it’s a similar size and culture."

He also said New Zealand manages to "avoid the worst trappings of modern, consumerist culture".

For many of us, New Zealand mostly brings to mind rugby, sheep and The Lord of the Rings. But the country has much more going for it, and there are some very legit reasons why someone might want to emigrate there from the UK.

For a start, there's far more space. The country is roughly the same size as the UK but it has a population of just 4.7 million, compared with our 64 million. New Zealand is also known for its laid-back, outdoorsy lifestyle (post-work hike, anyone?), and its more moderate climate.

Oh and it has superb wine. Need we say more?

Last year, 4549 Brits gained residence in New Zealand, 21,999 gained work visas and 1388 student visas, the New Zealand Herald reported. Numbers that look set to rise far higher in the coming year.

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