Spain is the most popular European country as Brits seek the sun and Mediterranean lifestyle

Recently we published the results of our 2018 National UK Emigration Survey showing the countries worldwide that British migrants most want to move to.

Today we are publishing the European subset which reveals the most desirable European destinations for British migrants following the Brexit vote.

All of the countries on the list are in the EU or EEA, with the exception of Turkey and Switzerland who both still have other trade agreements with the EU.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Spain, France and Italy top the list, followed by Cyprus, Portugal and Greece. This clearly demonstrates the popularity of southern Europe as the British desire the sun, sea and Mediterranean lifestyle.

The survey results do emphasise the popularity of Europe with British migrants and show that British sun seekers will still be keen on achieving the Mediterranean dream long after Brexit.

The countries at the top of the table also demonstrate British people’s desire to migrate for lifestyle reasons such as retirement as much as economic reasons which is the top motivator for EU migrants coming to the UK.

But according to PSS International Removals’ Managing Director, Liam Witham, British nationals wanting to migrate post-Brexit should not be too concerned.

I cannot see how people migrating to and from the EU will stop post-Brexit. There has always been a tradition of British people moving within Europe whether it’s for retirement, work or lifestyle reasons. British migrants have always been welcome and I believe that will continue.

The transition period agreement between the British Government and EU means that not much will change until 2021. As Liam Witham comments, “Although it will likely still be possible for British people to move to Europe post-Brexit, I would recommend people don’t delay. There is a little uncertainty over what will happen in 2021 so, if you are planning to move why not move sooner? You’ll have the certainty of status currently provided to UK citizen’s residing in the EU before Brexit and you can also begin enjoying your new life in the sun sooner.”

The Top 20 European Countries British People
Most Want To Move To

The 2018 League Table






1 spanish flag graphic Spain 21.0% EU
2 french flag small France 12.0% EU
3 italian flag small Italy 11.5% EU
4 cypriot flag graphic Cyprus 8.3% EU
5 portuguese flag graphic Portugal 6.7% EU
6 greek flag graphic Greece 6.5% EU
7 irish flag graphic Ireland, Republic of 4.6% EU
8 german flag small Germany 4.5% EU
9 maltese flag graphic Malta 4.0% EU
10 turkish flag graphic Turkey 3.0% Customs Union
11 icelander flag graphic Iceland 2.8% EEA
12 dutch flag graphic Netherlands 2.5% EU
13 swiss flag graphic Switzerland 2.2% Trade Agreement
14 swedish flag graphic Sweden 2.1% EU
15 norwegian flag graphic Norway 2.0% EEA
16 bandera canarias Canary Islands 1.8% EU
17 austrian flag graphic Austria 1.2% EU
18 dane flag graphic Denmark 1.1% EU
19 polish flag graphic Poland 1.0% EU
20 belgian flag graphic Belgium 0.9% EU