Bloody true ! !
Britons flee gloom for laid-back life
Exchanging stress for sands and sun
Anne Darwin may be the one who hit the headlines, but Britons are emigrating in droves.
Darwin, 55, who returned last weekend from Panama to face charges of deception linked to her husband’s “return from the dead” five years after a canoeing accident, was one of record numbers who are leaving.
All have different motivation — and there is no suggestion of criminality for most — but while stories about immigrants pouring into Britain feature daily across the pages of British newspapers, less attention is paid to the number who quit.
The latest official migration figures showed that while 591,000 people arrived in Britain last year, a record high of 207,000 Britons left for sunnier climes.
High levels of crime, dreary weather, bad transport and expensive accommodation helped drive Christopher Khalil to Sydney, Australia, said the 33-year old from Rhyl, a seaside town in north Wales.
Australia, where the former superpower used to send its criminals, is the number one destination of choice.
“It’s a new world out here — the sun shines every day, the beaches are beautiful, it’s cheaper to live, salaries are approaching UK ones and you can live an amazing outdoor lifestyle, “ Khalil, who now works for an Australian digital media company, told Reuters by e-mail.
“There seem to be new people arriving every week in search of a better life and better opportunities,” he said.
One-third of last year’s emigrants headed to Australia and New Zealand, a quarter went to Spain and France and just under one in 10 to the United States. Only about 1,000 British passport-holders live in Panama, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research, a left-wing think-tank.
“Increasing pressure at work and demands on time in the UK, coupled with increased focus on importance of leisure time, mean that more people are probably considering various quality-of-life issues than they used to — such as climate, cost of living, value for money, transport facilities and recreational activities,” said Neil Prothero, UK analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Britain languished in 29th place in an EIU “quality of life” survey, coming bottom among the 15 countries of the pre-enlargement European Union. Australia, Spain and New Zealand ranked respectively 6th, 10th and 15th.
Darwin’s husband John “was forever looking at new things and new places on the Internet and one day he just came up with Panama”, she told the Daily Mirror.
“Brits leave the UK to escape, because they want to enjoy a happy, carefree life again,” said Anne Butt, a British nurse who moved to New Zealand.
“After living in London for two years, I was in need of a break from the seriousness of life in the capital,” she added.