Photo credit: Chris Lawton (photo reformatted)
Did you know that over 4,000 British citizens are currently residing in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg? Or that there are approximately 1,000 companies in Hamburg that have some sort of professional relationship with the United Kingdom? Did you know that 200 Hamburg-based companies have a permanent branch office, a production facility or a joint venture in the United Kingdom, and that around 70 British companies have offices in Hamburg?
What about the date 29 March 2019 – does that ring a bell? If it does, it’s because from that day onwards it will be possible for us to see if all these figures will indeed have a great impact on Hamburg and its residents. It’s the day when the United Kingdom officially begins to leave the European Union. The local potential of this impact is exactly what EnglishBusiness’s CFO, Dr Cathy Molohan, discussed during her appearance on Hamburg 1 on May 8.
Quite naturally, many people focus on Frankfurt when it comes to Brexit due to the fact that that’s where most of the big banks are moving. But we tend to forget about the rest of Germany when discussing the potential effects of Brexit. For instance, Hamburg will be the second most affected city in the Federal Republic due to the trade industry. Hamburg has such a strong position in global trade that the city’s Chamber of Commerce has gone so far as to make the comparison that “[g]lobal trade and open borders are as important to Hamburg as water is to a fish”.
She also discussed the effects Brexit could have on British citizens residing in Hamburg. EnglishBusiness’s own British employees and freelancers serve as an excellent example of this. Due to the overwhelming uncertainty regarding post-Brexit immigration regulations, a total of six out of 26 British citizens associated with EnglishBusiness have already obtained German citizenship. Many of these trainers have lived in Germany for over 15 years and have decided to take precautions to ensure that they do not fall victim to the potential bureaucratic hurdles between the two countries they call home.
These are only a few of the effects that have already taken place in light of Brexit. 29 March 2019 is still nearly one year away – what else can we expect as Brexit becomes reality?
To learn more about the potential effects that Brexit could have on Hamburg, watch Dr Molohan’s seven-minute interview (in German) with Hamburg 1 and share your comments on the matter below.
By Tony A.
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