What is 'Brexodus '?

Brexodus, a compound of "Brexit" and "Exodus," refers to the mass exit of individuals (particularly European Union (EU) nationals) and corporations from the United Kingdom, which some observers expect to occur when the country leaves the EU.


The UK decided to leave the EU following a referendum held on June 23, 2016. This departure, Brexit, is expected to occur at the end of March 2019. The withdrawal is likely to have profound effects on individuals and businesses, but the exact implications are uncertain. Negotiations between Britain and the EU began on June 19, 2017, and have not yet provided clarity for EU nationals living in the UK, British nationals living in the EU or corporations that do business across the English channel.  

The process is complicated by domestic politics in the United Kingdom. In an election on June 8, which Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May called in an attempt to increase her parliamentary representation, the Conservatives lost their majority. The result, which pushed May into a coalition with Northern Ireland's Democratic Union Party, raises questions about her push for a "hard Brexit," under which the U.K. would leave the EU's single market and customs union and would dramatically curb immigration from the EU.


According to Migration Watch UK, which supports a stricter British immigration policy, 3.3 million EU nationals live in Britain while 1.2 million UK nationals live in the EU. Europeans living in Britain worry about their status, since immigration is a politically fraught issue in the United Kingdom. This friction is one reason for "Brexodus," which could result from a deal – or lack of a deal – that sees EU nationals lose rights and status they currently enjoy in Britain.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding their future status, 47% of highly skilled EU workers told Deloitte in June 2017 that they were considering leaving the country within five years. The majority (52%) said that their employers had not communicated with them effectively regarding Brexit.

In March 2017, the House of Lords attempted to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, but the Conservative-controlled Commons struck the provision down. In June, May outlined a plan that would grant EU citizens "settled status," giving those who had lived in Britain for five years the right to remain indefinitely and equal access to benefits and public services. Those who have been in the country for less time would be able to apply for temporary residence. 

The proposal, which the government characterized as "generous" before its release, was not well received in the EU in part because May did not specify a cutoff date for the five-year period. Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, tweeted that Britain's position needs "more ambition, clarity and guarantees," saying his goal was for EU residents in Britain to continue enjoying the same rights as today.

EU nationals would need to join what the Guardian calls a "special ID register" to gain settled status. The application process is likely to be tedious, and the onus is placed on EU citizens to prove five years of residence.


Part of the reason for the expected "Brexodus" of individual EU citizens is the potential for businesses to leave the UK due to Brexit, particularly financial services firms such as banks, insurers and asset managers. These firms have used London as a headquarters from which to serve the EU, since "passporting" arrangements allow them to operate across the bloc without setting up local subsidiaries.

After Brexit, financial firms based in Britain may lose this ability. Several have called for a temporary agreement granting them access to the EU's single market past March 2019. These firms need time to plan, however, and cannot risk losing access to European markets due to a hard Brexit. For this reason, some firms have announced plans to move operations to the EU while others are considering their options. Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and Dublin are competing to present themselves as the best alternatives to London. These cities are also lobbying Brussels to limit euro clearing, most of which currently occurs in Britain, to the EU. 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in May that it would move hundreds of London-based jobs to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg. Deutsche Bank AG has announced that it will move 4,000 jobs out of London. Daiwa Securities Group Inc., a Japanese brokerage, will set up a subsidiary in Frankfurt. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering moving up to 1,000 jobs to the German city, while Bank of America Corp. and Barclays PLC are considering Dublin.

  1. Brexit

    Brexit refers to Britain's leaving the European Union, which ...
  2. Article 50

    Article 50 is the clause of the European Union treaty that outlines ...
  3. Frexit

    Frexit – short for "French exit" – is a French spinoff of the ...
  4. Irexit

    Irexit refers to Ireland's potential exit from the EU.
  5. Single Market

    The European Single Market is an entity created by a trade agreement ...
  6. Bremain

    Bremain is an abbreviation of "British Remain", which refers ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    Britain to Lose Access to EU Single Market

    The British government will seek a clean break from the EU in what will be a "hard Brexit."
  2. Insights

    Europe Talks Tough on Brexit Deal in Leaked Documents

    The European Parliament wants its way on migrants, money, courts and, most importantly, time.
  3. Insights

    Brexit One Year On

    Keep calm and carry on into the unknown.
  4. Insights

    Brexit 'Remain' Campaign Is Hitting a Wall

    Friday’s ORB poll showed 55% of respondents were in favor of Britain leaving the EU.
  5. Insights

    Britain Could Face €63B Payment When It Leaves EU

    That charge includes commitments made by Britain to the treaty, such as pension and loan charges.
  6. Investing

    3 Brexit Doomsday Scenarios

    Britain's population is set to vote for a British exit, or Brexit, from the EU in June of this year. While its supporters claim that being free from the EU pact would allow its economy to grow ...
  7. Personal Finance

    Where Will London's Banking Jobs Go After Brexit?

    Frankfurt? Dublin? New York? No one is sure what will happen to the City's banking jobs after Brexit, but its looks like London will lose quite a few.
  8. Insights

    Brexit: Winners and Losers

    As post-Brexit discussions between the U.K. and Europe heat up, we analyze the ongoing winners and losers from these negotiations.
  9. Investing

    US Banks Preparing to Relocate After Brexit

    As the UK is likely to lose its financial privileges with the EU following the Brexit vote, major US banks have begun preparations to relocate operations.
  10. Financial Advisor

    Brexit Basics and Your Clients

    The market punishes uncertainty, and the Brexit has sown the seeds for plenty of it. Here are some Brexit basics for you and your clients.
  1. Why the British Pound Is Stronger Than the U.S. Dollar

    Learn why the British pound is stronger than the U.S. dollar, despite the U.S. economy being larger than that of Britain ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the cost of living difference between the U.S and the U.K?

    Learn how consumers pay, on average, nearly 30 percent more for private goods and services in the United Kingdom than in ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Internal Rate of Return - IRR

    Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is a metric used in capital budgeting to estimate the profitability of potential investments.
  2. Limit Order

    An order placed with a brokerage to buy or sell a set number of shares at a specified price or better.
  3. Current Ratio

    The current ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures a company's ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations.
  4. Return on Investment (ROI)

    Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency ...
  5. Interest Coverage Ratio

    The interest coverage ratio is a debt ratio and profitability ratio used to determine how easily a company can pay interest ...
  6. Cash Conversion Cycle - CCC

    Cash conversion cycle (CCC) is a metric that expresses the length of time, in days, that it takes for a company to convert ...
Trading Center