Tuesday, 19 September 2017
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8572A database of channels for reliable information is being assembled and will be kept up-to-date over the coming months and years by a specialist team at Cambridge University to help British expatriates cope with concerns about how Britain leaving the European Union may impact on their personal lives.

The researchers behind the project say one of their main aims is to insure that good information and advice “to prevent rash Brexit-induced decisions” by British students, families and retirees living on the continent reaches as many UK citizens abroad as possible.

They warn of a“milieu of rumour, speculation and tabloid bombast”, and also of “an information vacuum” surrounding Brexit that may be exacerbating expat insecurities, particularly among those aged over 65.

Lead researcher Dr Brendan Burchell from Cambridge’s Department of Sociology, said: “UK citizens abroad need to be empowered to make sound, informed decisions during Brexit negotiations on whether to remain in their adopted homelands or return to the UK.”

Dr Burchell added: “At the moment there is a missing link: there is no database of the conduits through which high quality information can be communicated that targets specific countries or sub-groups of UK migrants. This is what we aim to build over the coming weeks.”

The database will cover the legal status and rights of expats, including access to welfare, health and pensions, as Britain leaves the EU.

The research information will be shared with government agencies and select organisations in such a way to avoid “exploitation” by commercial and lobby organisations.
Dr Burchell notes that the interests of UK nationals potentially returning to the country from the EU have been given little consideration in Brexit debates since the June referendum.

“Without access to well-grounded information that updates throughout the Brexit process, the current void will be increasingly filled with dangerous speculation and even so-called ‘fake news’ from partisan groups or those that would seek to prey upon the anxiety of UK over-65s to make quick money through lowball property sales or investment scams.”

An economist working on the project, Professor Maura Sheehan, thinks that Brexit concerns could lead to a panic domino effect in certain expatriate communities.

“Housing markets in areas along the Mediterranean coast could collapse as retirees try to sell up, but with no new UK expats looking to buy. Life savings could get swept away in the confusion,” she warns.

“Meanwhile there is no slack in UK social infrastructure for ageing expats returning en masse with expectations of support. The NHS has yet to emerge from its current crisis, there is a desperate shortage of housing, and social care is badly underfunded.

“The idea that we could see socially isolated baby-boomer expats back in the UK with health conditions, financial woes and even ending in destitution as a result of bad decisions based on misinformation should not simply be written off as so-called ‘remoaner’ hysteria.”

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Portugal Newswatch contains reflections on current affairs in Portugal by journalist and author Len Port, a journalist for 50 years, working as a staff reporter, broadcaster and freelance correspondent for many leading news organisations. He covered events in the Far East in the Sixties, and in Northern Ireland and South Africa in the Seventies. Since moving to Portugal in the early Eighties, he has edited regional magazines, contributed to national dailies in Britain and written several books.

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Comments  

+3 #8 Erik the Pink 2017-02-26 12:38
Quoting 2.sugars.in.my.tea:
Well, I'll say it if no-one else will.....
FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!
People make markets - on which everything from currencies to property values operate, not propaganda streaming. The day ANY university & tame economist provides convincing data, is the day to lay down & die.
...(stirs 3rd spoon of suger). Who's paying these people to produce this tripe anyhow??.....

Let's be clear - terms such as 'fake news', 'alternative facts' (especially when shouted in capital letters) are vocabulary adopted by the fascist-fascinated hard right to scream at anyone who fails to agree with their ugly viewpoint.
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-6 #7 2.sugars.in.my.tea 2017-02-26 09:39
Well, I'll say it if no-one else will.....
FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!
People make markets - on which everything from currencies to property values operate, not propaganda streaming. The day ANY university & tame economist provides convincing data, is the day to lay down & die.
...(stirs 3rd spoon of suger). Who's paying these people to produce this tripe anyhow??.....
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+6 #6 Eric the Pink 2017-02-25 16:49
Quoting Mike Towl:
Far be it from me to condem free speech and, for want of a better word, journalism, but at least Ed of ADN should exercise some restraint over Len Port who seems to have Carte Blanche to write this drivel. When the domiciliary fate of any EU citizen is decided, probably years down the road, I suspect they won't need a Cambridge think tank to advise them or Mr. Port to notify those effected. them. Margaridaana is spot on. Childish scaremongering!

Suggesting the article is 'scaremongering' is what is known today as an 'alternative fact'.

It seems to me that Mr Port is simply reporting what was said by the researchers: how is that 'scaremongering'?
In the UK at the moment, the westminster government is simply not telling people what is going to happen post-brexit - that's probably because the goverment doesn't actually know. So there is a need for 'reliable information', as otherwise the Daily Mail [other right-wing news is available] will simply continue with its hate campaign.
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-7 #5 Mike Towl 2017-02-25 08:00
Far be it from me to condem free speech and, for want of a better word, journalism, but at least Ed of ADN should exercise some restraint over Len Port who seems to have Carte Blanche to write this drivel. When the domiciliary fate of any EU citizen is decided, probably years down the road, I suspect they won't need a Cambridge think tank to advise them or Mr. Port to notify those effected. them. Margaridaana is spot on. Childish scaremongering!
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+2 #4 Phoenix 2017-02-25 06:43
Quoting Dro Pingbye:
Quoting Margaridaana:
You are scaremongering Len. The 'baby boomers' have never had it so good, we do not have financial problems, far from it, and should we wish to return to the UK are unlikely to be a burden on the state, in spite of your predicted health problems. We can pay our way and, take it from me, we are certainly not likely to be socially isolated.


Have you thought of changing your username to 'I am alright jack sod the rest of you'?

Nice one, there's always one flash *******
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+4 #3 Dro Pingbye 2017-02-24 20:01
Quoting Margaridaana:
You are scaremongering Len. The 'baby boomers' have never had it so good, we do not have financial problems, far from it, and should we wish to return to the UK are unlikely to be a burden on the state, in spite of your predicted health problems. We can pay our way and, take it from me, we are certainly not likely to be socially isolated.


Have you thought of changing your username to 'I am alright jack sod the rest of you'?
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0 #2 MiguelJavali 2017-02-24 15:51
I understand from local estate agents that although the Brits are not buying, the French and Italians are - as seen in my immediate area where the majority of sales are to other EU residents, (mostly for tax purposes!). The housing market does not depend on UK buyers by any means, so that comment is a non sequitur.
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-8 #1 Margaridaana 2017-02-24 15:23
You are scaremongering Len. The 'baby boomers' have never had it so good, we do not have financial problems, far from it, and should we wish to return to the UK are unlikely to be a burden on the state, in spite of your predicted health problems. We can pay our way and, take it from me, we are certainly not likely to be socially isolated.
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