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Immigration update: Switzerland negotiate terms with the U.K. to safeguard citizens’ rights

07 January 2019

On December 19, 2018, the Federal Council of Switzerland approved an agreement with the U.K. on the rights of citizens after Brexit. This contract benefits Swiss and British nationals who have acquired rights in Switzerland or the U.K., based on the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (e.g. residence rights).

Following the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU, the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU with the U.K will cease to apply. Therefore, the Federal Council wants to ensure the existing mutual rights and obligations between Switzerland and the U.K. after leaving the EU (Mind the Gap strategy). Until the...

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04 January 2019

An Order of 18 December 2018 authorises the doubling of the immigration health surcharge (IHS) to £400 per annum, effective 8 January 2019.

The discounted charge, payable by Tier 4 students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme (Tier 5), will rise from £150 to £300 per year.

Introduced in 2015, the IHS is payable by those from outside the European Economic Area coming to the UK to work, study or join family for six months or longer.


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Overseas investors spent £144.3bn on London offices over two decades

03 January 2019

Foreign buyers have invested £144.3 billion in London commercial property over the past two decades and are still buying despite Brexit, new research showed on Wednesday.

Agent CBRE revealed its office property data as industry experts insisted Brexit will not have a “material impact” on future appetite to spend here.

The firm said overseas investment into central London has increased steadily since 1999 (see data below). Buyers from Germany and the US were dominant in the Noughties, followed by Middle Eastern companies between 2009 and 2013. Between 2014 and Q3 2018, international buyers spent £56.5 billion, with Asian companies featuring heavily.

There have...

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London loses out in cost of living rankings thanks to falling pound in the years after Brexit referendum

19 December 2018

London has become one of the cheapest major European cities for overseas workers since the Brexit referendum, according to global mobility research firm ECA International.

As a result, of of the weakened pound since the leave vote, London has slipped from inside the top 50 global cities to 127th place, the company said in its latest cost of living report.

The report, which compares a basket of like-for-like consumer goods such as groceries, meats and vegetables, and essential household goods, said workers coming to London from the US would find the cost of living especially cheap. This is thanks to the strength...

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US bank to switch FX trading from Moscow to London

18 December 2018

The sanctions placed on Russia in 2014 continue to reduce business causing intenational banks and financial services to move to the UK and the EU for a more business friendly environment.

Morgan Stanley is to close its equities and foreign exchange trading desks in Moscow and relocate to London.

Western banks continue to leave Moscow following sanctions on Russia

The Financial Times said that Morgan Stanley had taken the decision because a stagnant Russian economy and sanctions were continuing “to chip away at western investment banks’ business there”.

The report added, “The US bank will relocate its Russian trading businesses to London, eventually resulting...

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Ever-growing UK investment in India, report finds

12 December 2018

Britain is single largest Western investor into India as President Modi’s business reforms make it easier to do business in a country with a huge domestic market, growing middle class and skilled workforce.

An increase in investments in India has made the UK the largest single Western investor in the country, according to a report compiled by Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Grant Thornton.

The report, ‘India’s Sterling Assets: Britain Meets India’, published on Tuesday, showed that between 2000-18, total foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into India from all UK sources stood at an estimated $50.57 billion.

Britain is largest Western investor... Read More

Novartis to move UK headquarters to London

04 December 2018

Novartis is moving its UK headquarters to London, in a multi-million pound investment in UK life sciences, which will be complete by January 2020.

The Swiss drugs giant said it is relocating its UK headquarters to The WestWorks building on the White City Place campus, in a bold move to join London’s latest emerging life sciences cluster.

The WestWorks is home to a number of technology and innovation companies.

The area is emerging to be London’s latest life sciences cluster and is quickly becoming home to a number of pioneering life sciences companies, as well as Imperial College London’s major new research...

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Brexit effect ‘limited’ on UK house prices

28 November 2018

Average house prices have risen in most large British cities since the referendum

What does the chart show?

Since the Brexit vote, average house prices have fallen in just one UK city out of 20 monitored by the Hometrack Cities House Price Index. Published on Wednesday, the index suggests there has been “no immediate deterioration” in the outlook for prices or market activity following the vote to leave the EU.

Only one city, Aberdeen, has seen average prices fall in the two years or so since the referendum. Even London, where there has been a sharp slowdown in activity and falling prices in...

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May hails boosts to UK's industrial strategy

21 November 2018

Inward investment into the UK is boosted by Airbus and Eutelsat orders. Plus, Equinix’s total investment this financial year of £295 million is a “vote of confidence” in London’s future as a premier financial hub.

The UK government’s Industrial Strategy has received a double boost with European orders being received for communications satellite components and an announcement of a major expansion of offshore wind blade expansion.

Airbus and Eutelsat to expand UK operations

Airbus and Eutelsat announced the order on Monday to manufacture satellite components at sites in Portsmouth and Stevenage in a deal said to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.


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2018 FEM EMEA EMMAs winner of Best Vendor Partnership - Relocation Management Company of the Year announced!

15 November 2018

Winner: Tesco and Icon Relocation

Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) EMEA EMMAs (Expatriate Management & Mobility Awards) 2018

On Friday 9 November 2018, the winner of this year’s Vendor Partnership - Relocation Management Company of the year award was announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the InterContinental O2, London.

The FEM EMMAs are the premier awards for the global mobility and International HR industry and on Friday night, following a highly successful two-day Summit, key figures and leaders gathered to celebrate the brightest and the best in the EMEA region.

Claire Tennant-Scull, Global Head of Content and Events Director at FEM said: “The...

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