Wednesday 20 April 2016 8:47 am

EU referendum: 68 per cent of UK expats in Europe are worried about Brexit

If the UK votes to leave the EU, there are likely to be a fair few uncertainties related to how the country proceeds in terms of its economy, foreign policy and diplomatic relations.

But the prospect is also leading to anxiety for most British expats living in Europe.

Over two thirds of British expats in Europe are worried about Brexit, according to a new poll.

When asked, "are you worried about the impact of Britain potentially leaving the European Union will have on you as a British expatriate?”, 68 per cent of those surveyed by deVere Group, which has more than 80,000 mainly expat clients globally, answered yes.

Read more: This is what the Treasury thinks will happen if we vote for a Brexit

That compares to just 24 per cent who answered no, and eight per cent who did not know.

The poll of 555 people living in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary took place in April.

"These results show there is major concern about a possible Brexit amongst the thriving expat communities in the EU. Worries were from those from all age groups, income brackets and from different types of destinations where Britons mainly reside in Europe – from the Spanish costas to northern European financial hubs," said Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group.

Current polls put Leave and Remain close together, though Remain has seen some improvement recently.

However, the poll of expats shows more people to be concerned about the possibility of a Brexit vote.

Read more: Michael Gove says there will not be an economic shock from Brexit

Aside from the expectation of the pound weakening against the euro, Green adds that issues such as pensions and healthcare rights weigh heavy in expats' minds.

"Will UK pensions continue to be paid, inflation-linked, to those expats living in the EU? Or will the UK government try to save money? What will the other EU countries’ policies be towards British families’ access to education and healthcare?

“If we refuse to accept free movement of EU labour, will UK expats be able to carry on working in the EU? Will they be able to own assets, such as houses or businesses, under their own name?" Green adds.