Brexit starts taking its toll on Portugal

in News · 24-06-2016 13:08:00 · 20 Comments
Brexit starts taking its toll on Portugal

Within hours of Britain voting to leave the European Union, news has already started emerging of businesses in Portugal already feeling the pinch of the uncertainty this result has generated.

An Algarve estate agent today posted a copy of an e-mail received from a prospective buyer in which a viewing booked for next month has been cancelled.

“Please could I cancel these viewings”, the email reads, adding: “This is due to the EU referendum (Brexit) result. Apologies for any inconvenience.”

An international school was also told on Friday morning that the enrolment of two British children would be put on hold due to the outcome of the referendum, with the prospective parent continuing to say that he was heading off to his lawyers to cancel the purchase of a property.

Portuguese business people in the UK have also expressed worry over how Brexit is going to affect them.

José Cruz, who runs one of the biggest importers of Portuguese products into the UK told the Lusa News Agency that "we are going to struggle and we need to make immediate decisions."

The director of Atlântico added that his company does not only deal with Portugal, but with other countries who trade in the dollar.

"We are going to have to increase our prices, we are not sitting around waiting for better news", he said.

Guilherme Rosa, elected for Labour in Stockwell, south London, and where there is a large Portuguese community, said that it was going to be "economic doom here."

He added that talk in Stockwell is also about how holidays will become more expensive and they "won't be able to visit Portugal as often."

There were also concerns that the euro would devalue strongly against the dollar, meaning that with almost immediate effect, fuel prices here would rise as Portugal pays in dollars to obtain oil.

Sterling, which has devalued by ten percent against the euro since the beginning of the year, would also result in holiday makers heading for Portugal this summer having less to spend, with fears growing that real estate purchases could also be negatively affected.

The Algarve Tourist Board and the the region's largest hotel association have as a result also expressed concerns over the outcome of Thursday's vote in comments to Lusa.

RTA chief Desidério Silva and AHETA chairman Elidérico Viegas, have both agreed that a weaker pound will have a negative effect on tourism from which is the region's biggest tourist market.

The Algarve tourism president added that the Algarve should now look to other markets, such as the German, French and Dutch to compensate an eventual drop in British tourists.

Desidério Silva adds that the loss in buying power will also be "a negative factor" for Britons living in the Algarve.

Elidérico Viegas meanwhile explained that his association is "concerned with this situation, the instability created around Brexit could have implications, most certainly for companies and the financial results of the region.

The pound is forecast to drop even further with the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday morning.

The Lisbon Stock Exchange had also hit a 20-year low by Friday afternoon, with fears now also that Portugal could struggle with its regular sales of sovereign debt as yields have already sky-rocketted on Friday and concerns are now that could approach rates that could prove unsustainable - the major reason behind Portugal calling for a bailout back in 2011.

The PSI-20 principal index fell close to 11% to 4.17 points in early Friday trading, its lowest level since January 1996, EFE news reported.

Shares in Banco Comercial Portugues (BCP) tumbled more than 17% to trade at just 1.7 euro cents per share.

Meanwhile, Portuguese working and living in the United Kingdom have on Friday also expressed concerns over the referendum result, saying that they “no longer feel welcome in Britain.”

“It is very worrying, as we don’t know what is going to happen to us. All we know as that they don’t want us here any longer”, a Portuguese Communities advisor in Wales told Lusa News Agency.

According to Iolanda Banu Viegas, Portuguese residents in Wales, where a large majority voted Leave, are “extremely concerned.”

Iolanda Viegas added she had been inundated with calls, but says she has been unable to address most of the questions being levelled at her by Portuguese emigrants.

Manuel Mendonça, founder of the Portuguese Association Heróis do Mar and who is based in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, revealed that the Portuguese community is in a state of “shock.”

“People here are fearing for their futures”, he was quoted as telling Lusa News Agency, “we don’t feel welcome here as the Leave campaign focussed almost entirely on immigration. The economy here will fall and people will start thinking about leaving”, he said while forecasting a period of great instability.

He added that the anti-immigration sentiment has been concealed for some time in the region, where the Portuguese community has grown considerably in recent years due to large numbers of vacancies in the agriculture industry and food processing factories.

Manuel Mendonça also encouraged Portuguese workers to ensure their children are taught in their mother tongue as they might need to return to Portugal sooner than they had bargained for.


I was shocked and offended by some of the comments on here - but not surprised. As a Portuguese national living in the UK since 1983, with a child born here to a British father, please allow me to rectify and make some facts very clear: 1)Xenophobic behaviour and abuse towards EU Nationals started in 2002 and has become increasingly worse. 2) This is being fed by manipulation of facts and lies by ego maniacs, media with political alignments and politician's spin to hide the truth behind their aims and their mismanagement. 3)Their followers have always and will always place the blame of their woes on minorities in order to excuse the mismanagement of the only two Parties they vote into Government. 4) The result of the referendum has given these people a green card to 'express' the resentment and anger generated by the manipulation of facts and the lies in the last 14 years. 5) This is being done without any decent or lawful boundaries. 6)This behaviour is criminal but continues to be denied and ignored despite EXTENSIVE evidence. 6)The Government and the Police encourage it's denial in order not to tackle it. 7) Sadly, those efforts do not change the facts and the deep and life changing effects it is having on us and our children. 8)The total number of Foreign Passport holders in the UK is LESS than 10% of the population (including less than 4% which are EU Nationals). 9) The NET (after benefits like JSA, Child Benefit and Tax Credits) contribution by EU Nationals ALONE in 2015 was £1.2 Billion. 10) More Foreign Nationals speak English than the other way around - despite the "they come to this country and do not even speak the language". 11) Foreign Nationals in UK respect traditions and integrate much more than British abroad. 12) The cost of Healthcare of Expats is covered by Tax Payers and NIC contributors in the UK - including the Foreign Nationals living here. The same applies to their Pensions and the 19% of Britons that claim Unemployment benefits. 13)Brexit will affect the UK MUCH more than it will affect the EU. Those of us that have paid Taxes and NICs here as a result of Double Taxation Treaties just want to know what our entitlements will be before we look at the other 27 Member States as options. 14) "Calling the kettle black" and the "I am OK Jack Brigade" are on the increase and are symptoms of a society in denial of their status since their colonies got independence. 15) I may not have had a say in a decision that will have a direct and profound effect on my family and I but that does not mean that my Rights are any lesser than anyone else's or my responsibilities any greater. 16) Children are taught about good citizenship and Human Rights at school and then see the way their parents are treated because they have a foreign accent/are non white/have another religion/different sexual orientations - hatred is spread and created in Britain by it's own failures and double standards but the effects are then denied or blamed on others. 17) As far as 30 years ago the heart of communities in the UK were ripped out by closures of factories, shipyards, plants, pits...these communities were left without any other options but to live in awful poverty and despair. Minorities then moved in to take advantage of lower housing costs. Despite these facts it is Foreigners that are being blamed for the loss of jobs - not the Government. 18) The electorate system in the UK needs to be changed to allow other parties a fair chance to Govern. Nick Clegg tried to get this changed recently but was voted down by the British people. 19) Muslims are less than 5% of the UK population but they too get blamed for everything and anything including terrorism when the truth is that Britain is by far the greatest exporter of terrorists in the World. The terrorrism by the iRA also appears to have been forgotten - no Muslims there! 20) Foreigners get blamed for crime, sexual abuse, Anti Social Behaviour and a great manner of other things whilst the behaviour of their own in the UK and abroad, the abuse of hundreds of children by people like Saville, the weekly damage caused by binge drinking/drugs and the increase in domestic assault is conveniently forgotten in that blame. 21) There is an increase lack of empathy which is the result of an inability to understand the effects on others unless they have experienced it too. Or comparisons that do not in any way compare in order to justify and ignore the effects. 22) Polish Nationals are often blamed for many things, their contribution to the Battle of Britain has been conviniently forgotten. As has the contribution of many other "grandfathers" that died during WWII to protect Britain - it does not stop the "my grandad died fighting for this country" when justifying the anti foreigner/Muslim/Black verbal vomit. 23) History has taught us the consequences of the 1930's when the same manipulation of facts and misguided ideology was used by ego maniancs like Hitler, Mussolini and Franco to gain power. Some 80 years later, not only have we failed to learn from them - we go as far as to wear a Poppy of Remembrance and state LEAST WE FORGET whilst offending those that lost their lives by allowing it to happen all over again. 24) Isolation and division does not make friends and Britain no longer has the capability of protecting itself alone - sadly these facts do not stop 52% of it's population from seeking it and then abuse the citizens of other countries. 25) The list of additional facts is far too great to be shared here. Nevertheless, the old saying that "people that live in glass houses should not throw stones" applies here. Please do not share information/opinions outside the UK that fail to reflect the truth and the facts unless you wish to be challenged and corrected. Because you may think that being British gives you the right to treat others at home in a worse manner than you would treat an animal but that right does not extend to the country the so much hated and blamed for everything "Foreigners" come from. Thank you!

By Sandra from UK on 10-11-2016 01:26

well said ken from Beiras.
i am currently looking for a property in Portugal ( we are not leaving the uk but need a warmer climate in the winter ) we love the country and the people, but leaving the EU had to be done we are a democratic country being run by a non democratic group of people. i see more beggars more people sleeping on the streets, i do not care what the well off say the UK is going down hill because of being in the 'club'. things will settle down but everyone needs to be more positive people that have 'made it'in the uk should support the uk and stop running it down, lets just get on with it and be great again.

By ALAN REYNOLDS from UK on 15-10-2016 02:12

Hard times , no doubt. In my opinion Portugal should have done the same a LONG time ago.Leave the E.U. that only serves to enrich the richest nations as we have seen so far.

Of course , these so called "empires" are only concerned about the citizens of "portugal" and alike when there is a DEAL to be made .
A SIMPLE and basic review of the "big deals" made between the 2 countries during the last decades trully shows the "alliance" that existed. One exploited the other, simple .

Is it an alliance when one partner exploits the other?

By K-77 from UK on 22-09-2016 10:13

I am just plain ashamed to be British, this was always about immigration, anyone that says differently is in denial. The British have always had a bred in attitude that they are better than everyone else and set apart, and very definitely an almost instinctive dislike of 'Johnny Foreigner'. This is thankfully getting better with younger generations, as shown by referendum voting, but those of my generation and my parents were brought up to feel superior. You know the sketch with John Cleese and the Two Ronnies? Well Ronnie Corbet would be looking down on the foreigners. Even my dad who is a lovely bloke and would never think of himself as racist called the nurse that was looking after my stepmother a "blackie" and ironicly he was complementing him at the time! It was just so automatic to call him that, that he didn't even think about how insulting that term is. When I read on here comments of British people living in Portugal saying that 'Brexit' was a good or necessary thing, I just feel sick. Sick that I am British and that the country I was brought up to be proud of could do what it has done, and that I have no choice in it. The whole campaign from both sides was about what was best for Britain as if it really were just an island with no effect on the continent it almost touches. No thought or question of , what is best for everybody. How selfish and how arrogant, how shameful. But also, how British. The UK had the best deal of all the countries in the EU and still wanted more, I hope that the EU stands strong and insists on freedom of movement being central to any access to the single market. Even though the UK's refusal of this would put my life here in Portugal jeopardy. The one thing your average European citizen gets out of the European Community is freedom of movement, sod the economy and trade, for your working masses the chance to go anywhere and better your life from your own hard work is the prize for being a member of the EU club. The comfortably retired need to realise this and realise that they are not going to have their cake and eat it, in fact their cake is going to be a lot smaller and they won't get to choose from the cake stand anymore. Lets just hope their grandchildren are lucky enough to have a slice. The British now need to start trying to make amends for the damage they have done, whether an Outer or Inner an especially if living in another European country. Start being a European and part of the continent you are tethered to. Learn the language, it is disgusting how so many of you can't be bothered "oh just can't get it, I've tried but they speak so fast", if I had a euro for every time I have heard that! It's not difficult, all you have to do is be part of the community you are in. Try and make contact and stop treating the Portuguese as if they are all waiters, and stop thinking you are better than them because back 'home' you have 'proper fish n chips' rather than Bacalhau. I have been here for ten years and seen many Brits come and go, isolated by their pensions, or British incomes, from the real world of Portugal, always bloody complaining. Stop it, this is Portugal, not a theme park.

By Paul from Beiras on 29-06-2016 05:03

It is so disrespectful for people to think that those who voted Leave were misled, are ignorant or stupid. The VoteLeave campaign had nothing to do with the majority decision that UK made. It is obvious for those that have lived in the UK before we enter the EU and now that it is the EU that has lied and has built a controlled system that may have been of benefit to people from poorer EU states, but detriment to UK. Our public services are at breaking point and our benefits system, housing and education is in crisis, and the EU had an opportunity to help bring about a fairer system so that those who wish to migrate to UK are going to contribute to UK, and they ignored our plight, so we took the only decision available to prevent our country from going further downhill. We are not Racist, I, myself am not White or have English Parents, and it is only the small minority extremist racists which exist in all countries who are jumping on the band wagon and exploiting our decision, but they are in no means represent the majority of us who do not think like they do. We want a fairer system that will manage and control the number of migrants coming into the UK, but also to allow not just people from the EU, but people from the Commonwealth to migrate to UK only on a points basis. People and businesses are over-exaggerating, it is not the worst decision we have made, we have made the best decision, and once the fear and panic that people are creating for no reason, the dust settles, and the Pound goes back to normal, which it is already doing. People will realise that it was the right decision!

By Bernadette from UK on 29-06-2016 11:44

I quote from the EU website
The European Commission is the executive of the European Union and promotes its general interest."

Well its about time that they start doing this ! I would also add that its about time for accountability, and for the people to decide who their "Executives " are to be in future.
Look at todays article in the Telegraph.

What more needs to be said

By David from Algarve on 28-06-2016 11:59

Please do not believe the hype about wide spread racial abuse of people from Europe in the UK,this is being highlighted by the press, out of all proportion. I am not saying it has not happened but it goes on all around the world, I have been subject to racial abuse in Asia and the Caribbean as a white man.
The U.K. Leaving Europe is the worst thing that has happened to the UK for 50 years, unfortunately the political machine in favour of leaving managed to convince the majority of ignorant and stupid to vote leave by mis information, down right lies on many subjects. Many now publicly regret there actions.
I am devastated that this has happened as are roughly 50% of the population, probably more if you count those who did not or could not vote, as we all know most of the people who move from one country to another are goodhard working tax paying citizens, but there are always some who are bad, from all groups, we have more than our fair share of home grown benefit claiming layabouts in the UK and unfortunately the anti immigration message was aimed at them to attract there votes as they would vote leave to protect there scrounging way of life.'
The vast majority of all immigrants who live here in the UK are fine upstanding, industrious citizens and are a welcomed and an asset to this country.
I am at this moment ashamed of being British, the politicians and the electorate have managed to harm this country severely by there despicable behaviour, let's hope we can recover.
Please do not believe all you read about this place.

By Andy from Essex from UK on 28-06-2016 11:01

There have been a lot of lies and half truths spoken by advocates of both the 'in' and 'out' campaigns. It is becoming clear, from statements being made by leading EU politicians and USA leaders, that trade and political deals will be struck to ensure 'Brexit' problems are contained for the benefit of all parties.
Boris Johnson has , reportedly, said (27/6/16) that expats
wishing to work in the UK or Brits living or working in Europe will safe. I hope this is not another lie.
It will take at least 2 years after the UK invokes the implementation of 'Article 50' before we legally divorce the EU. This is, surely, long enough for the eventual implications of 'Brexit' to be seen and acted upon.

By Tony Charlton from Other on 27-06-2016 05:43

Hopefully the EU will return to what it was invented for.
The Euro has every southern member country in debt and Portugal being just one.I remember in the 1980`s even in recessions or when money was tight I could still afford a weeks holiday in the Algarve as the Escudo exchange rate was good.Those days have gone the euro has made holiday`s in Europe at times too expensive for me.As for our immigration problem most of the numbers `not just coming today from Europe`but from now Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria /Pakistan not one of these countries are in the EU yet the good old UK gives them the same status.So I hope now we can do something about this.I know the Portuguese will always be welcome here and I think that a new EU will have to be formed as others follow out.I doubt Brussels wants a Europe that it will too one day question its existence.

By Troy from UK on 26-06-2016 04:13

It is truly incredible the imperialist attitude of the British. The Empire is over. Haven't you understood? Portugal is a sovereign country, and you don't respect us. You don't learn the language and make no effort to integrate. You take advantage of our country and you don't put in nothing. You love the Portuguese? Which? The ones that live, study and work in the UK (aka: bloody immigrants)? Or the ones in Portugal?
I say again, have a plan B to return, because if the Portuguese citizens start to be harassed in Britain and have to leave, it will be your time to go back as well.

By Carl from UK on 25-06-2016 03:19

Well said Ken (from Beiras).
Lots of people forget that the vote wasn't against the European community but against this "uncontrollable monster" you mention in your text.
Are Norway and Switzerland the hell some pessimistics predit for UK? Certainly not!
May I remind that May 29th, 2005, French voters refused by 55% (referendum) the proposed constitution of the European Union. Despite this result, French government decided to ratify Lisbon treaty in February 2008...

By Jean-Noel from Algarve on 25-06-2016 01:25

Europe is entire continent not just the Union of 28, ooops 27 countries, and it existed far before EU was formed. So what if the UK opt off, it is just an island. They will form another arrangements with the EU, and that is all. I don't believe much would change for them either, nor even immigration. If you ever checked behaviour of the UK politicians in the EU parliament, the only way to describe them was "the old farts". If the leaders are smart enough, this would be such a great opportunity to all of remain EU countries to grow, without revenge.

By Teresa from Lisbon on 25-06-2016 10:09

I think the Portuguese in UK are worrying for nothing regarding their status.
Britain has always had a good relationship with Portugal, and there will almost certainly be a reciprocal agreement between our two countries.

Just consider the fact that Britain has been to war with most countries in the world over the last few hundred years, yet Portugal has only ever been involved as an ally. We are the best of friends.

Portugal will continue to be a top destination for British tourists and house owners - unless of course Brussels has other ideas!!
Perhaps Portugal too will wake up and smell the coffee!

By Chris Lock from UK on 25-06-2016 09:44

Goodbye Britain, now you can be Great again. On your own.

By Jason from Porto on 25-06-2016 06:43

Lez, it's interesting that your children voted to stay in the EU. They should know better since it's their future.

By George from Lisbon on 25-06-2016 01:51

I suspect today has been extremely disappointing to many UK citizens living in Portugal. Your reactive report appears to mirror the scaremongering of numerous UK publications that have had a major impact on today's result. This is very sad and not helpful to the many individuals very concerned about their futures in Portugal. A more balanced and reflective approach is required by all concerned including your journalists if you wish to retain any semblance of credibility.

By John from Algarve on 24-06-2016 10:36

Well said Ken.
By the way I hope that your command of the Portuguese language is good as most likely you will need it. Ah, by the way have a plan B in hand as you may need it when you return to England hastily. Gueto type of thinking has no place in Portugal.
All Britons have to accept that if anything bad happens to any Portuguese citizens in the UK it will be their time to leave as we also deserve to take control and retribution has to be swift and harsh.

By Carl from UK on 24-06-2016 09:38

Well said Ken - my own thoughts exactly. Portuguese legally working in the UK, should not worry at all about their future, the British only want to see some sort of control put on the seemingly uncontrolled immigration that is taking place.

By Michael from Algarve on 24-06-2016 05:11

I agree with Ken from Beiras.) also the brits love Portugal nothing changes. WE'RE PROBABLY THE LEAST ANTI IMMIGRANTS IN THE WORLD. then we had to take note our children and grandchildren cant find a home/job SO THE ANSWER WAS VOTE LEAVE.

By lez from UK on 24-06-2016 04:39

The EU Bureaucrats of Brussels have self – destructed.

They knew that The British PM (David Cameron) was in a difficult position about re-negotiating some amendments to the EU policies including, immigration, Turkey etc. last month and, that he had to show there was a chance of reforming the system from within the EU to the British people. But he returned with a piece of paper which was full of promises but without substance and belittling to say the least.
The “set in stone” mentality of the EU commission (who are un-elected), only gave promises of a future vote if Britain voted to stay in the EU. This proved beyond a shadow of doubt that there is no possibility of change by negotiation.
The British people saw through this cynical ploy of the EU commission to further their own interests and tighten the hold on their power. This referendum was never about, not wanting to be part of Europe or imegration, it was about the undemocratic method of governing and the, “sledgehammer, one glove fits all” style; and they, (the commission) misread the strength of opinion across Europe - not just Britain - about their system.
Today Britain has shown Europe and the world that a democratic process of voting- which has worked for sovereign states for a few thousand years (including Italy and Greece) - that we’re not frightened of standing tall amongst the powers who wanted to destroy democracy.
Leaving a power hungry un- United States of Europe will make Britain stronger in the world and will become a model for other countries (not states) to do likewise.
We are allies to the rest of Europe and we welcome the migrants who come to work but we are also an individual country with its own needs and aspirations who has a right to govern itself for its people by a democratically elected government.
Forty years ago we in Britain voted to join a, “common market”. This worked. Since then though it has grown into this great uncontrollable monster created by a group of individuals as a private club furthering their own interests for power without any redress to those outside their circle.
It is now up to Britain to continue close ties with Europe but to also re-connect with the rest of the world and look to the future with optimism and a strong belief in itself.

By Ken from Beiras on 24-06-2016 02:45
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