Publications

22 Aug 17

How does Brexit and its potentially restricted movement of people affect high-skilled UK passport holders in Luxembourg’s services economy?

Authors: KRESLINA Endija, PROSKUROVSKA Anetta, SIKHARULIDZE Tea, DÖRRY Sabine.

Abstract: This research report is the result of the project seminar “Regional Development”, part of the Master course in Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Luxembourg (Faculté des Lettres, des Sciences humaines, des Arts et des Sciences de l’Education), led by Dr Sabine Dörry (LISER) in the winter term 2016/2017. The choice of this particular research topic was inspired by Sabine Dörry’s research focus on international financial centres and, in particular, the role of the state in promoting their financial hubs. This research paper is an exploratory study. It started from the initial assumption that Brexit would cause impacts on the financial centre of Luxembourg. In particular, we assumed that the Brexit negotiations might result in a restricted movement of people between the United Kingdom (UK) and the remaining EU 27 member states. Such an outcome would not least affect individual professional careers of British citizens working in Luxembourg’s services economy. With its specialisation in financial and corporate services, a field increasingly governed by English contract law, UK lawyers are in high demand in Luxembourg. A looming Brexit threatens these developments. This study therefore explores the personal and professional strategies British lawyers working in the Luxembourgish economy use to cope with such a highly uncertain political situation whose outcome ultimately affects their lives. Primary empirical data, on which this very small study builds, suggests that the majority of British lawyers seek to consolidate their private and professional situations in Luxembourg. Against the background of major uncertainty, main strategies comprise the application for Luxembourg nationality and, if appropriate, a potential relocation of their professional legal activities from the English to the Luxembourgish legal system. These results provide a first glimpse of the situation of a heterogeneous group of professionals working in the broad field of law; yet it may help Luxembourgish policy-makers to develop means to support UK passport holders engaged in Luxembourg’s economy and to open up a long-term perspective for them in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Reference: KRESLINA Endija, PROSKUROVSKA Anetta, SIKHARULIDZE Tea, DÖRRY Sabine. How does Brexit and its potentially restricted movement of people affect high-skilled UK passport holders in Luxembourg’s services economy? LISER, 2017, Les rapports du LISER, 20 p.

Keywords:
brexit,
Luxembourg,
service industry,
labour market,
British lawyers,
individual strategies

JEL: E24, F16, J24, J61, O10.