US Presidential Election: Supercharged Brexit or a Rubicon of Difference?
Two days after the US presidential election, the world observed how America deals with democracy in a very different way to the British. A long and intense (and very expensive) presidential campaign was followed by dramatic decision. Universal and bipartisan commitment to the transition to a new order followed. Unlike America’s rust belt which one wonders will ever recover no matter how much stimulus is injected, all protagonists adjusted to new roles with the ease of a well-oiled machine. Fundamental to this apparent “settling in” regardless of some discontent in the streets, is the fact that the system has defined clearly the path to power in the case of a public vote.
Contrast the US presidential election to Brexit where the failure to clarify the scope, remit and due process of the referendum, and to clearly communicate this to all affected, has meant 5 months of continued debate, hesitation and uncertainty. The referendum of June 23rd continues to be scrutinised for legitimacy and intent. It is now clear that much is unclear! Clearly Brexit is not Brexit inasmuch as no one is able to define just exactly what detailed policies and approaches will be defined. Teresa May’s enthusiastic recounting of her conversation with president-elect Trump shows just how much the government was anxious for a chance to reiterate that the UK would be able to forge new trade agreements with its closest ally, with whom it has a “special relationship”.
Her comment might have carried more weight had not Boris Johnson, well known for his contradictory positions on a range of matters, immediately called on an end to “collective whinge-o-rama” (sp?), making it clear that the UK government senses an opportunity to deliver positive news amidst practical difficulties of trade negotiations yet to ensure.
Depending on their agenda, politicians will describe the two dramatically important events as exactly the same or completely different. Retirees and seniors in both markets, post these votes, will have surprisingly similar objectives, and the speed at which those elected are able to deliver on their promises, may encourage many to look at other options for a peaceful retirement…just in case:
- Access to quality, affordable (public and private) health care (70-90% lower than in the US and comprehensive private insurance premiums for over-65s from around €40 per month)Stable and affordable cost of living (easily 40% cheaper than most US metropolitan areas, and still 15-20% cheaper than the UK, after the depreciation of the Pound);
- Freedom to travel without being treated with suspicion (a weekend break in a different country, a drive over the border without being suspected of being a criminal)
Tax-free or low-tax living for those who have save for retirement (up to 10 years tax-free for eligible new residents);
- Peace of mind and living in a safe region with minimal political, racial or social unrest (where most foreign residents can afford to live at a comfortable level and have moved through choice)
Quality rental accommodation (easily 50% cheaper, and in considerably better locations, than comparable accommodation in the US or UK);
- Purchase a property where you are protected by law (knowing that fundamental ownership rights will be protected regardless of nationality or origin, and where direct heirs can inherit tax-free).
We don’t think that the Algarve will remain “Europe’s most famous secret” for long…