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CBI survey prioritises post-Brexit access to foreign skills

22 December 2016

The government has been told by Britain’s biggest employers’ organisation that it was essential to negotiate a Brexit deal with the European Union that allows UK companies to get access to the foreign skills and labour they need. “Barrier-free” access needed after Brexit

After consulting thousands of business leaders and trade associations across the country since June’s referendum, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also said all sectors of the economy would need to continue to enjoy “barrier-free” access to EU markets after Brexit. In its report, ‘Making a Success of Brexit’, published on Wednesday, the CBI said the government must consider the...

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Joint call for EU citizens to stay in UK

19 December 2016

Businesses and trade unions have called on Theresa May to guarantee immediately the right of EU citizens to stay in the UK after Brexit. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which represents companies with a combined workforce of five million people, and the TUC made the call in an open letter to the prime minister. Failure to do so would damage the UK economy, the two bodies said. Downing Street said Mrs May wanted to protect the status of EU nationals. The bluntly-worded letter was jointly signed by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and BCC director-general Adam Marshall. “We call upon you to demonstrate leadership...

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Winchester 'best place to live in UK'

19 December 2016

Winchester is the best place to live in the UK in terms of quality of life, a study has found. Scotland’s Orkney Islands took second place, while Wychavon in Worcestershire came third in the Halifax study. It looked at a range of factors including life expectancy, health and employment rates. One key measure was Winchester’s weekly earnings which, at £824, were found to be 27% higher than the UK average of £646.

The Derbyshire Dales, Hambleton in North Yorkshire, South Cambridgeshire, Purbeck in Dorset, St Albans in Hertfordshire, Wokingham in Berkshire and Chiltern in Buckinghamshire also featured in the top 10. Winchester: An alternative guide...

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Revealed: How Theresa May's fight for British expat rights was met with silence from EU leaders

19 December 2016

Theresa May told EU leaders “I think I’d better leave now” after they met a short speech about her Brexit ambitions with silence.

Shortly before leaving the summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister made a brief presentation to the 27 leaders on the UK’s Brexit position, highlighting her desire to guarantee the rights of migrants.

According to one of the European leader’s aides, there was an awkward pause as they waited for her to leave the room before she said: “I think I’d better leave now.”

The source told The Times: “She was very polite but it was a bit embarrassing. It...

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/16/theresa-may-met-silence-eu-leaders-refuse-respond-british-expat/

19 December 2016

Politicians and cities around the world have been quick to see the advantages of attracting companies planning to leave the UK in the wake of the Brexit decision. David Sapsted looks at some of the key locations bidding for a piece of the action, and canvasses the views of business leaders and politicians.

The vultures, as one City financier put it, are circling. Then, he added with a smile, “They might be disappointed, though, as we really don’t know yet how much of a carcass will be available to peck at.”

He was referring to the determined efforts of cities across the...

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Global survey shows young people divided over Brexit

19 December 2016

A global survey has shown that the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union has dented young people’s impression of Britain on the Continent but improved its image in the Commonwealth and in other, non-EU G20 countries. Ipsos Mori for the British Council

The survey of 18 to 34 year olds, conducted by Ipsos Mori for the British Council, showed that 36 per cent of respondents in France, Germany and Italy considered that the Brexit vote had damaged the UK’s attractiveness as a country. Only 17 per cent felt the vote had had a positive impact.

However, in polling in Commonwealth countries...

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The Economist: EU, US politics to shape 2017

14 December 2016

The European Union will make an example out of the UK’s vote to leave the bloc and the US economy will grow more quickly, accelerating to a recession by 2019, according to Robin Bew, managing director of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Giving his annual closing address at the British Council’s Services for International Education Marketing conference, Bew forecasted the events that will shape 2017 and global politics were at the very top. In the Eurozone, especially, where elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany will post “existential risks” to the bloc, politics will shape events in 2017.

“Brexit has caused a reevaluation of...

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UK inflation jumps – house price growth eases

14 December 2016

Inflation in the UK rose to a two-year high in November as the fall in the value of the pound began to feed through into prices. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the Consumer Price Index had risen to a higher-than-expected 1.2 per cent last month, up from 0.9 per cent in October and the highest figure since October 2014. The main reason for the rise was a jump in the cost of clothing and fuel, with petrol prices rising by 1.6p a litre over the month and diesel going up by 2p, mainly due to “depreciation of sterling...

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5 top tips to make your relocation less stressful

12 December 2016

1. Paperwork: early preparation pays off in the long-run

Women having coffeeThe official government websites for most countries include an information portal for immigrants. Here, you should find confirmation of the documents you will need to produce as part of the application process. It should also give you an indication of how long the process will take.

Depending on the length and type of the visa you need, the documents you will require will tend to consist of a current passport, confirmation of legal residence, information from your proposed employer detailing your new job, salary level and length of employment – along...

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Plans unveiled for 10,000 free independent school places

12 December 2016

The proposal by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which represents 1,300 of the most successful schools in the country, forms part of the council’s response to the government’s ‘Schools that work for everyone’ green paper consultation that asks independent schools what they can do to “support more good school places and help children of all backgrounds to succeed”. The proposal is for the creation of up to 10,000 free places in independent schools, every year, for families who would not be able to afford fees. This jointly funded proposal would see government contributing no more than the cost of a state...

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EU nationals 'want guarantee they can stay in UK'

12 December 2016

European nationals in the UK and British citizens living in the EU must have a guarantee they can remain in place after Brexit, campaigners say.

The Three Million group is demanding assurances people will not be used as “bargaining chips”. Meanwhile, the think tank British Future wants a “fair” cut-off date for any settlement and citizenship changes. The government says it wants to let the 2.8 million EU nationals stay in the UK, but member states must reciprocate.

The Three Million group is delivering a letter to Downing Street later on Monday, alongside 10 groups representing the 1.2 million UK citizens living in the...

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Moving overseas for the first time

09 December 2016

So. You’re moving abroad? You’ve either been thinking about it for a long time and you’ve finally set the ball rolling, or your other half has come home from work and announced that his job is moving and so are you. That’s what happened to us in any event…

In September it will be three long years since I stood weeping outside my London terraced home and waving all our worldly possessions off in a ginormous lorry that blocked our small, friendly and much-missed street for a couple of hours. We weren’t that popular that day I can tell you.

I will...

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Moving back home as an expat family – and dog

09 December 2016

Nothing quite goes as planned You wouldn’t believe how busy we’ve all been with preparations for the move – and even though we thought we had everything in hand we still won’t be back in the UK until after Christmas! I’d envisaged a lovely warm, welcoming family Christmas with my parents, which would help the children to settle in. Instead, we’ll arrive back in the UK on January 3rd and the children will start at their new schools on January 9th, three days after the official start of the term. It’s not ideal and it’s certainly not what we originally planned...

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Foreign hiring curbs worrying UK jobs market

09 December 2016

An upbeat assessment of the UK jobs market by professional recruiters has been overshadowed by a warning that a skills shortage would be exacerbated if the government imposes further restrictions on foreign workers coming to Britain.

The latest survey of 400 companies by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and IHS Markit found increases last month in both permanent staff placements and employee vacancies. The rate of increase in the former was the highest since February, while the highest demand was for engineers and IT staff.

Kevin Green, REC chief executive, said the biggest concern for 2017 was the increasing skills shortage....

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Icon Relocation wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

09 December 2016

Icon Relocation wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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Expat pensioners face income tax rise

08 December 2016

British pensioners holding offshore pensions will be forced to pay more tax under new plans proposed by the Government.

Hidden in last week’s Autumn Statement was a move to bring into line how overseas and UK pensions are taxed.

Currently, people taking income from “qualifying registered overseas pension schemes” (Qrops) only pay 90pc income tax on income produced by the fund. But the latest proposals will mean 100pc of income tax will apply, mirroring the tax treatment of UK pensions.

The move is being made to make it less appealing for pensioners to move their pension pots overseas and cut their tax bill....

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UK schools fail to climb international league table

08 December 2016

Government wanted UK schools to be among best in OECD’s Pisa assessment, but Scotland and Wales rankings have fallen

The government’s ambition to make Britain’s schools among the best in the world in teaching core subjects by 2020 appears to have been foiled, after international comparisons published on Tuesday showed few signs of improvement.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s programme for international student assessment (Pisa) found a little-changed performance in reading, maths and science among 15- and 16-year-olds in England – but good enough to make it the best performing UK nation after a sharp decline in Scotland’s performance.

In the...

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UK house price growth picks up, says Halifax

08 December 2016

The annual pace of house price growth in the UK increased in November for the first time in eight months, according to the latest Halifax property index. According to Halifax’s calculations, the average price of £218,002 last month represented a year-on-year rise of six per cent, the first time since March the index had seen an increase in the annual rate of growth. “Annual rate on a steady downward trend”

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said, “Despite November’s pick-up, the annual rate has been on a steady downward trend in recent months since reaching a peak of 10 per cent in March. “Heightened affordability...

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Carols in the City - Tuesday 6 December 2016 from 7.15pm – 9.30pm

06 December 2016

Experience an unforgettable festive evening by candlelight and celebrate the spirit of Christmas amidst the stunning surroundings of Southwark Cathedral sponsored by Icon Relocation.

Join us for an evening of festivities and help raise funds to support the work of our Marie Curie Nurses.

Hosted by Anneka Rice, the concert will include performances by the celebrated operatic baritone and composer Roderick Williams, soprano Milly Forrest and the renowned chamber choir Canticum. With seasonal readings by celebrity guests including Lucy Briers, Stephanie Cole OBE, Fay Ripley and Rupert Young and the chance to sing favourite carols, the concert will hopefully get you...

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Amber Rudd says EU nationals in post-Brexit UK will need 'form of ID'

06 December 2016

More than 3 million European Union citizens living in Britain after Brexit will have to be issued with “some form of documentation”, the home secretary has said.

Amber Rudd told MPs she would not yet set out the details for any new EU ID card, but said: “There will be a need to have some sort of documentation. We are not going to set it out yet. We are going to do it in a phased approach to ensure that we use all the technology advantages that we are increasingly able to harness to ensure that all immigration is carefully handled.”

The...

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Number of UK agency workers 'to reach one million' by 2020

05 December 2016

The number of agency workers is set to reach one million by 2020 if current growth trends continue, according to Resolution Foundation research.

Describing agency workers as “the forgotten face” in the debate around insecure work, the think tank estimates a full-time agency worker gets £430 less than an employee in the same role. The current number of 865,000 has grown by 30% since 2011, it said. Last week, the government announced a review into modern working practices.

The Resolution Foundation, which campaigns on issues around low pay, said women accounted for 85% of the growth in temporary agency workers. It did not explain why...

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UK construction grows despite rise in import price

05 December 2016

UK construction sector sees better-than-expected growth this November, despite rises in import prices following the fall in the value of sterling.

The UK construction sector experienced greater-than-expected growth in November with business activity and new orders increasing at the healthiest pace for eight months. Despite sharp rises in the price of imported raw materials because of the fall in the value of sterling, the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.8 in November from 52.6 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion and analysts had been predicting a decline last month from October’s reading. The impact of the weaker pound

However, David...

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Meet Vanessa, our Quality and Global Supply Chain Manager

05 December 2016

Vanessa Araujo Szmagara was born in Durban, South Africa and has lived in both Portugal & the UK. Vanessa was originally head hunted at the age of 24 when she moved to the UK. We asked Vanessa a few questions about her life in the UK as an expat:

How would you define a smooth relocation and if so what advice would you give to future expats relocating to England? My top tip that I believe helps set expats up for a smooth relocation is: Start planning early. Whenever we have an upcoming relocation we ask our clients for...

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Serviced apartment expansion set for 2017

02 December 2016

The serviced apartments industry looks set for an eventful new year with a number of openings already scheduled in Q1 and more continuing throughout the year, according to the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP). Announcements of openings within the UK have been released with the majority of developments planned in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Staycity Aparthotels have announced three new openings in the UK, with Liverpool seeing the largest development of 202 new apartments. London’s Covent Garden will see the first of the group’s new deluxe brand, planned for premium city centre locations, with 106 apartments. Scheduled to open in April,...

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UK immigration hits record but student numbers tumble

02 December 2016

Immigration to the UK hit a record of 650,000 in the year to June, mainly because of the arrival of an unprecedented 284,000 European Union citizens, official figures revealed on Thursday. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that, in the year running up to the referendum on EU membership, a rise in the number leaving the country brought the net migration figure down to 335,000 - just one thousand below the record figure recorded in the 12 months to June 2015. Immigration levels are among the highest recorded

Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said, “Immigration levels are...

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UK house price growth slows to 10-month low

02 December 2016

Annual house price growth in the UK last month slowed to its lowest rate since January, according to the latest index from the Nationwide Building Society. The 4.4 per cent year-on-year increase in November, when a monthly rise of 0.1 per cent was recorded, brought the average property value across the country to £204,947. In line with growth rates from 2015

But Nationwide said there were signs that demand for property had picked up in the past few months and Robert Gardner, the society’s chief economist, said the latest increase was broadly in line with growth rates seen since early 2015. “There are some...

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Immigration to UK hit record levels prior to Brexit vote, data shows

02 December 2016

Record level of immigration, at 650,000 people, driven by a historically high inflow of 284,000 EU citizens before referendum

Immigration to Britain reached 650,000 – its highest ever annual level – in the runup to the EU referendum, fuelled by record numbers of European migrants coming to work in “the jobs factory of Europe”, official figures reveal.

The record level of immigration at the time of the Brexit vote was driven by a historically high inflow of 284,000 EU citizens, almost matching the number of those from outside Europe (289,000).

The influx meant net migration remained at a near-record high of 335,000 in...

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