Brexit and Citizenship by Investment: Thoughts and Expectations in the UK and Beyond
Brexit might cause a damaging effect on the British passport power. In the view of a no-deal Brexit on October 31, UK nationals are becoming concerned of potentially reduced mobility. Another question is: how does Brexit affect the UK’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme?
Having strong connections with the UK, Malta - an EU member state that actively boosts its CBI offering - waits impatiently for the resolution since it’s investment programme might turn out less attractive in case of n-deal Brexit. If free access to the UK for Maltese national is impeded, this could become a showstopper for many HNWIs willing to invest in a Maltese citizenship.
In the meantime, Malta puts great emphasis on the programme. Since the introduction of its Individual Investor Program back in 2014, Malta has been raising over €200 million every year, totalling over €1 billion invested in its National Development and Social Fund.
Malta now reveals one of the highest GDP growth rates in the EU. The island nation posted a €250+ million budget surplus in 2018, greatly due to its investment programme. The surplus has helped to reduce the country’s debt by ~30 percent and benefit local healthcare, tourism and real estate.
Will Brexit affect the CBI market considerably? Indeed, end of free movement might scare off some non-EU investors, yet the Maltese authorities remain optimistic on the matter. Malta has been universally recognised for its CBI scheme. It’s ranked eighth out of thirteen on the recent global CBI Index - ceding ground only to Cyprus among the European countries. The Maltese nationality has risen consistently on the Henley Passport Index as well. In this index, the Maltese document takes the 7th place among the most powerful passports.
Affluent Britons are now looking for enhanced passport opportunities. With the looming prospect of no-deal Brexit, the UK citizens take interest in investment programmes offered by such EU member states as Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Portugal.
With the variety of CBI offerings globally, Brexit may after all remain a drop in the ocean in terms of investment migration. Deal or no deal, experts are curious of Brexit’s impact on the UK’s own CBI programme and the authorities’ policy as regards incoming investment.
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