Brits in Portugal have increased 36.7% since Brexit referendum

Following up on the warnings sounded by IMF director Christine Lagarde last week (click here), journalists have discovered that far from the likelihood of a stampede of expats BACK to Britain in the event of Brexit, quite the opposite is already happening.

More Brits are coming to Portugal than ever before.

Requests for residency are up since the referendum result and the number of Brits now officially living here has increased by 36.7%.

In terms of numbers this means that the 19,384 residents with official SEF authorisation is now nudging beyond 26,500 – and this is still to confirm.

In other words, the final tally for 2018 could be even more.

Says Lusa news agency, this information has been taken from figures divulged during the latest extraordinary meeting of the European Council dedicated to Brexit.

Featuring the full RTP interview where Ms Lagarde laid out her fears for an ‘expat exodus’, Lusa explained that the number of British residents in Portugal has actually been “in expansion since 2015” when the migratory flux was just under 2000 people per year.

This increased markedly in 2016 when over 3,800 new Brits arrived, by which time British residents made up 4.9% of foreign nationalities living in Portugal, coming in behind Angolans, Brazilians, Cape Verdeans, Chinese and Ukrainians.

Lusa stresses the final tally for 2018 is still not confirmed but the percentage of British nationals within the foreign population was up again in 2017 to 5.5%, and thus no-one is taking Christine Lagarde’s pessimism with any level of seriousness.

Said finance minister Mário Centeno very simply last week: “I don’t believe it”, adding that Portugal as a nation has done everything it can to prepare for Brexit and show Britain that it means to maintain historic close ties.

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