Couple ups sticks and ‘brexits’ to Malta

Nigel and Linda Lippard have decided to leave vibrant Milton Keynes, selling their house to move to Malta. They tell Paul Cocks of the anger they felt at the UK referendum result and their hopes for the future

Nigel and Linda Lippard put their house up for sale the day following the Brexit vote, and made plans to relocate to another country
Nigel and Linda Lippard put their house up for sale the day following the Brexit vote, and made plans to relocate to another country

On 23 June, more than 30 million Britons were called to vote in a referendum on whether Great Britain ought to leave the European Union; 17 million voted in favour of Brexit, with the UK now preparing to start exit negotiations with Brussels.

On 24 June, 62-year-old Nigel Lippard woke up to news of the referendum result. That same afternoon, he and his Hong Kong-born wife Linda put their house up for a quick sale, and started planning to move out of the UK and to relocate to another country.

They will now be arriving in Malta on 13 September, and they plan to stay here for good. 

Lippard told MaltaToday that they have already sold their house in Milton Keynes and that, once in Malta, they will be renting a property on a long let before purchasing a property and settling down.

“I have a lot of positive reasons for moving me and my wife to Malta, but the timing of the move was most definitely driven by the vote on 23 June, which staggered, frightened and depressed me,” he said.

Lippard explained that, like a lot of people in the UK, as the end of June approached he had become increasingly worried that the referendum vote was going to be closer than expected.

“Waking up early on the 24th, I was at first shocked and then angry,” he said. “And I was staggered when later on that day, the demographics of the vote revealed how the older generation had voted for a future that the young did not want.”

Lippard said he was shocked at the way the right-wing press had manipulated the situation, especially with regard to immigration.

Anger and fear

“I was angry at our PM and his cronies, who had sacrificed our country’s future in an effort to prolong his political future,” he said. “I was angry at the Leave campaigners who had lied their way to a result and even more angry at the 17 million people within the UK, including many elderly family members, who had not seen through this propaganda.”

Lippard said that he and his wife became even more frightened as the number of racially-motivated attacks increased dramatically across the UK the week following the Brexit vote.

“I became frightened that the UK was becoming somewhere I was ashamed to say I lived,” he admitted. “And as the pound sterling fell against the major currencies and share prices tumbled, I was fearful (and remain so) that the long-term plans we had for retirement would be adversely affected.”

Lippard said the following weeks become increasingly depressing as the enormity of what had happened began to sink in.

It became clear from press reports and social media, how Britain, once a great nation with a global vision, was now viewed as a rather foolish, arrogant, old and out of touch nation,” he said.

“My children are Europeans, and I wanted to live in Europe.”

Lippard told MaltaToday that he had spent 12 years living in Hong Kong and had also been to Malta previously, where he came to know a number of people, including some Brits, who live on the islands.

As to why he and his wife chose Malta to move to, he admitted that they had also considered Malaysia as retirement option, but concluded that while it scored high on some points, it failed on many more.


Why choose Malta

Lippard said it soon became obvious that Malta had many positives besides the obvious historical similarities with the UK, which make social assimilation easy, including the language and driving on the left side of the road.

“I am retired, so important factors are the weather, the local people, the overall cost of living, the value of property and the healthy Mediterranean lifestyle,” he said.

Personal safety, political stability and economic pragmatism are what pushed Nigel and Lina to make Malta their next home.

They might have just chosen the perfect time to do it, too, as Malta has just been named the second-best place for expats to move to in the Top Expats Destinations 2016 survey by InterNations, losing the top spot to Taiwan.

The survey found that Malta performed best in the ease of settling in index, getting used to the local culture and making new friends. Indeed, over four in ten expats (41%) say it is very easy to settle down in Malta, well over twice the global average of 16%. 

Malta obtained very positive results in the quality of life index, as well as on personal finance, work-life balance and climate and weather, and almost half the expats in Malta said they were planning to stay forever.

When MaltaToday spoke to the Lippards, the post-Brexit anger and disappointment was still evident in their words. 

But so too was a building sense of anticipation and excitement as they both looked forward to settling down in Malta, their very own slice of heaven that was still – thankfully – a member of the EU and the better future the Lippards foresaw for themselves and their children.

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