The number of Britons fleeing the United Kingdom
has reached levels last experienced during the assisted passage
era. Then, hundreds of thousands of destitute emigrants escaped
the poverty of post-war Britain to settle abroad. Today for
the first time in history over 1,000,000 retired Britons choose
to live anywhere but England, and most but not all choose
mainland Europe. It is estimated that 240,000 UK citizens
of all ages are now burning their boats and turning their
backs on the United Kingdom - every single year.
One newspaper alone, the Friday edition of the Daily Mail
carries nearly sixty advertisements for companies cashing
in on 'the evacuation'. These include details of 36 'escape
centre' exhibitions in England alone where England's refugees
can seek assistance in re-locating abroad.
At these exhibitions, some of them multi-stand, visitors in
their thousands queue to learn about the attractions of life
outside their own beleaguered country.
Typically one exhibition at York fielded over 100 homes abroad
specialists early in June last year. As with similar 'escape
departure points' it attracted unprecedented numbers of would-be
Although the doors to the exhibition were not scheduled to
be open until 10.00am by a little after 9.00am two queues,
each a hundred metres long, had formed. In each one desperate
and depressed Britons chose to stand in the rain, each with
a pre-taxed entrance fee of £3, to get the chance of
seeking a new life abroad.
"I WISH TONY BLAIR COULD SEE THIS EXODUS."
One exhausted exhibitor said, "It was just
like the January sales. As soon as the doors open they pour
in; we never even get the chance to eat a sandwich for lunch!
It was the same at the much bigger exhibitions at Earls Court,
the Cumberland Hotel at Marble Arch, and the National Exhibition
Centre in Birmingham."
A visitor said ruefully: "I wish Tony Blair could see
what he is doing to this country - and the results,"
he added as he waved his hand at the throngs surging around
the various exhibits.
The reasons given for leaving England in such numbers are
varied but they all add up to general dissatisfaction. Whilst
Britain's poor weather is a factor it doesn't stand alone.
Tony Blair and his cohorts have little control over the weather
When questioned as to their reason for seeking a new life
abroad the overwhelming majority of escapees is quick to respond.
"We are over taxed and working for nothing' is on everyone's
lips. "Bloody immigration" is often cited but such
words are whispered in hushed tones as though frightened that
they will be overheard.
Crime being out of control, Britain's drug culture, the cost
of living, the state of the health 'service' and a general
feeling that England has had its chips makes up the general
consensus. As one astute American put it: "Britain today
is like the Titanic. and they are not even hanging around
to watch the bubbles."
THE GREAT ESCAPE
A tired stand advisor at one of the exhibitions
told of how visitors are dismayed to learn that they may have
to wait up to two years, sometimes three, for their new home
abroad to be built. Some opt for re-sale properties so they
can leave quickly, which is a good idea as demand is pushing
prices up anyway. He grinned and added that when dealing with
apprehensive migrants he introduces himself as 'the Chairman
of the Escape Committee.'
"That way," he added they know exactly where I am
coming from. They identify and often pour out expressions
of disgust at their country's rapid decline.
The rush to leave Britain may increase as it is revealed that
Britain's trade balance has now reached a record 3 billion
pounds. This is the difference between what it sells and purchases.
Such a deficit identifies the depressed manufacturing and
service economy, which is faltering. Few believe the massaged
The hapless Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown now
concedes that the artificially strong pound needs to be devalued
by as much as 20% to bring it in to line with the more realistically
Experts say this cannot happen overnight as
the fragile economy would likely collapse as a result. They
predict that it will gradually be reduced over the next two
years. "Death duties, the erosion of pensions and the
evaporation of savings is driving people to desperation,"
A visitor returning from a recent trip to southern Spain says
he often chats with ex-patriates. They cannot bring themselves
to believe what has happened to their country. One pensioner
when asked if she ever returned home to England, or if she
missed England at all, vehemently replied that she didn't
and anyway she couldn't afford to return.
UK NOW MOST EXPENSIVE COUNTRY IN EUROPE
Many if not most are heading directly to the
Spanish Costas; the Mediterranean coastal strip running from
Barcelona at the north of the Costa Brava, right through the
210 kilometre Costa Blanca Stretch and through to the Costa
del Sol. All paradise compared to Britain. The lower cost
of living, crime negligible by comparison, a better quality
of life, are all a big draw.
Others are evacuating to France, northern Italy, the Greek
islands and in particular Cyprus and Crete where crime is
just 6% that of Britain's. Many others are heading west to
Florida in the United States.
The United Kingdom is now the most expensive country in Europe,
where taxation has even passed that of notorious Germany.
The cost of living and house prices in particular are driving
native-born Britons abroad. Many young Britons can no longer
afford a home of their own in their own country. Mortgages
after the highest taxation levies in Europe simply can't be
paid. Some young married couples are facing first home mortgages
of £200,000 and are being driven out of their own country.
THE ALARMING EXCHANGE OF CULTURES
The Daily Mail recently reported that "Massive
increases in house prices in recent years have made Britain
one of the most expensive places to buy a home in the world.
Low prices, the strong pound and low interest rates have led
to a surge in demand for foreign property and the search for
a better quality of life."
One exhibitor who didn't wish to be named said: "How
much longer can any country take it? The equivalent of a fair
sized city is now leaving every year. They are taking their
wealth, their experience, and their way of life abroad.
In the meantime similar numbers of incoming refugees, who
have no means of support; people who have no home, no skills,
who aren't able to contribute in any way, are replacing them.
People who furthermore have a cultural background wholly alien
to that of the indigenous population. It is frightening,"
The refugees in similar numbers are flooding in to take advantage
of huge handouts, funded by the escapees before they join
'the chicken run' to southern Europe and the United States
and the Republic of Ireland.
Homes Overseas magazine says: "Experts are still forecasting
moderate growth in sales over the next two or three years
and, over the next five, some are predicting up to two million
families will move into the Costa Blanca region over the next
BRITAIN, A SINK ESTATE OF POVERTY AND DESPAIR
Many emigrants are attracted to the more prosperous
life abroad where people can still stroll, shop, enjoy life
without fear of being mugged or be accosted by druggies and
aggressive street beggars that infest Britain's mean streets
"It's the quality of life that people go for. If you
look at the cost of living, it's at least 40 per cent lower
than in the UK or Ireland," reports Richard Saunders,
a prominent expert.
Fleeing Britons are also outraged by the depressingly predictable
sleaze in politics, degrading material being shown on television,
and the poorest educational opportunities in Europe. "Britain
is one stinking sink estate, riddled with crime, vandalism,
and despair," said one exhibition visitor.
Many are attracted to Cyprus where, as in other parts of Europe,
bi-lingualism is commonplace and over half the young people
enjoy a university education. Derek Workman, who left for
Spain two years ago, when asked what the main differences
in lifestyle were replied, "Immeasurable." Asked
if he had any regrets the ex-patriot responded ruefully. "Only
that I didn't do it 20 years ago - a phrase you oft hear repeated
He smiled when asked what he missed most about England? "The
Spanish phrase is nada de nada meaning absolutely nothing
- with bells on!" he grinned.
EX-SERVICEMEN THE MOST DISGRUNTLED
John ------ an ex-career officer in the Royal
Air Force said that the happiest moments of his life was when
sailing across the English Channel, with his family, heading
for a new life abroad. Another, an ex-colonel in the Kings
Regiment echoed his views. "England," he surmised.
"I don't give a cuss if I never see it again."
It is estimated that during any one weekend scores of homes
abroad exhibitions are held throughout England. Some cities
host several at the one time. An exhibitor for a Spanish company
told of one small city in which three organisations were assisting
people in their quest to leave Britain, yet they still couldn't
cope with the numbers attending.
He recounted with a smile how one harassed family man, commenting
on the continental ambience background music suggested that
it might be more appropriate to play the theme tune to The
Great Escape movie.
A Michael Walsh News Desk Feature
Source: Michael Walsh News Desk