I’m getting lots of emails and messages from readers in UK really worried about the ongoing situation. My experience in Argentina is actually pretty relevant, especially regarding inflation, devaluation and banking. My blog is packed full of information, use the tabs and search window. If you haven’t read them already, my books (The Modern Survival Manual, Bugging Out) will provide very valuable information. I’ll try covering more Brexit advice in future posts and videos in my youtube channel.
As for now, you need to understand the following:
1)More Poverty, more unemployment. Preparedness is mostly about getting ready for what is likely. Snowstorms happen every winter in certain areas, so you prepare for those. But sometimes preparedness is also about what’s possible, even if unlikely. If you would have told me just a year ago that the British Pound would perform worse than the Argentine Peso I would have told you to stop smoking crack, explain how bad that stuff is for your health. Today the Pound is the worst performing currency in the entire planet. This isn’t some anecdotic piece of news. This is staggering. Inflation will occur, people’s purchasing power will drop, imports will become more expensive, there will be less money, worse infrastructure, less investments, therefore less jobs. Basically a significant share of UK middle class will become poor and those that are already low middleclass/poor, well, you’re looking at a VERY tough situation ahead of you.
2) Inflation. With the worst depreciation in 31 years the consequences are just unavoidable. Prices will go up. They will go up A LOT. You don’t just lose 21% and just pretend nothing happened. I’ve seen it first hand and know very well what you will be seeing in the years to come. Chances are you wont hear much of a buzz in the news, and only certain media will report it. But you’ll notice it soon enough. Mark my words one day you’ll be leaving Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Asda, you’ll look at your trolly (Cart for Americans) and ask your husband or wife “dear, how many pounds did we just spend? 150?”. You’ll think “hey, that doesn’t look like 150 quid worth of grocery…”. Understand this, the media will try to hide it and marketing will try to do the same. Unless you check the net content they’ll trick you with their “new and improved” packaging. Fuel will be another issue, already going up in price.
Everything is linked and UK simply isnt much of an industrial country. If its not imported then it’s using imported parts or materials in its production. After years of being part of the EU, this was simple, cheap and straight forward for companies but not anymore.
3)Even worse medical care. The NHS was very bad already but believe me when I say it will get even worse. People already died of illnesses that other developed countries detected and treated in due time. It’s a disgrace to read time and again about people being sent home with a golf ball lump under their skin and be told its nothing by their GP. With NHS women hardly get an Pap Smear and even for women with a family history of breast cancer they just get check after 50… every three years. Shameful.
4)More Xenophobia and hate crime. One of the ugly sides of the Leave campaign was to subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) appeal to the racism and xenophobia some people have in UK, with hate crimes going up 57 to 147%. It’s amazing given that London is such a multicultural city but we’ve witnessed truly pathetic scenes such as Brit teen telling a Latino looking man to go back home (turns out the man was an American army veteran, living in Britain for more years than the teen has been alive). In many cases its just people harassing other just because of an accent or skin color. There’s this elder German women that lived in UK for over 20 years, all of a sudden being told by her neighbours to go back to her country.
The survival lesson is: If you’re not white, if you’re and expat living there or just happen to have an accent, you will be less welcomed in UK today that you would have been just a few months ago and it will get worse. Official stats are showing just this, and its really no surprise because it is in fact a government policy implemented years ago to make the country less appealing for immigrants. If this happens to be your case, I’d say it’s a big factor to take into consideration. Think if you’re willing to put up with it, if you’re willing to have your family, maybe your children suffer it as well.
5)Media censorship. Its already quite noticeable, the BBC of course but most British mainstream media are heavily controlled and report little actual news. You need to understand this, understand that there’s a political guideline which they follow, the way they report news and even which news even gets reported. The Guardian and Independent seem to be more likely to report the negative news which other official or non official but government aligned agencies are likely to avoid.
When it comes to news, you just need to understand who is reporting it, who owns the given media corporation and what their interests are.
What to do:
1.buy yourself a gun. NOW
Firearms are already heavily restricted in UK and this will only get worse after Brexit. The UK has been asking for tougher gun laws and nearly all other EU countries have more permissible ones, allowing handguns and semi auto rifles in most cases.
The reasons for owning a firearm are numerous, and indeed you just don’t know what may happen one day. What I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that if the day ever comes and you do need a gun, you won’t have time to wait for several weeks. You will need it right then and there. With the chances of tighter regulations plus the likeliness of post Brexit social unrest, I can only recommend getting yourself a shotgun, a quality semi automatic one would be my preferred choice. Get your Firearm Certificate or shotgun licence, join a club and practice. Ideally you would join a club and get involved in shotgun practical shooting, which is the closest you can get to defensive shooting skills in UK. Listen, as of today its simple and straightforward enough. Tomorrow it may not be. This would be my number one priority if living in UK right now.
2.Open a bank account offshore while you still can.
Now this is something I was told about in Deutsche Bank here in Spain, just today. UK is now considered a “high risk” country for money laundering, along with several third world countries. You can imagine how ridiculous this seemed and I said so to the clerk. The bank lady agreed, but she said that since they are leaving the EU they understand there’s a much higher chance that, as of right now, some people from UK would try to open accounts abroad for money laundering. In any case, as of today you should be able to find a bank in an EU country other than UK to open an account. Do it while you can. This is a key asset to have.
3.Buy Euros. NOW.
The Pound keeps dropping like a rock and this WILL NOT IMPROVE. You are losing money, and right now you can do something about it, you still have the option to go to any bank and get as many Euros as you can. From now on until article 50 is triggered it’s a no brainer. Some will hold until the last minute refusing to accept article 50 will be effectively triggered. It will, and when it does you’ll see the pound drop even further. If you have most of your money in Euros, it will be a lot less painful. If you opened your account abroad as recommended, you can easily send some of your savings there in Euros, move your money back and forth as needed.
4.Stock up food and medical supplies
I cannot emphasize this enough and it involves preparedness on several levels. First and obvious enough, food will get more expensive. They will try to hide it as much as they can but it’s unavoidable. If there’s shortages, problems with supply (Britain is an island after all) having a supply of food stocked is essential. If you lose your job, a stash of food will give you some peace of mind. You’re going to eat anyway. Remember to store what you eat. Try sticking to shelf stable food and canned produce. Rice, beans, dry pasta, properly stored they will last for years. Canned sausages are pretty common. Canned beans are a waste of money in my opinion but some people like it. Try them out now, see what you like and stock up.
5.Thousands in UK are already applying for Irish citizenship
This would allow them to stay in the EU, travel, work and study in EU in spite of the UK leaving. Having seen this first hand, if this is an option you want to do this ASAP. Soon enough waiting periods will increase considerably and as always you just never know if new restrictions are implemented eventually. Being an island with a bunch of countries right in front of you means you have options, but only if you have the right to work, study and reside there. I believe many folks just took that for granted and don’t fully understand how much their options will be reduced once that right is lost. Again, If I was in UK and had the option to apply for Irish or other EU country citizenship, I would do it immediately.
6.Keep a cash stash, including Euros and precious metals.
These are complicated times. You are looking at a period of instability and uncertainty in which problems with the banking system and cash availability are a possibility. As the pound keeps devaluating so does your savings. In my case I have some GBP in my cash stash, just in case. I felt the sting of seeing it lose value to the Euro. I can only imagine how much worse it would have hurt if all of my savings where in such currency.
My standard recommendation is to have at least a month worth of expenses in cash, just in case. In the case of UK, I would go for at least two months, and you probably want at least half of that saved in Euros. There’s little doubt that the pound will keep dropping.
Silver is another asset to consider. UK has Britannia silver and gold bullion. I’d look into setting aside some as insurance for a worst case scenario. Junk silver is also an option with pre 1920 British coins being sterling silver (92.5% silver) and pre 1947 coins being 50% silver.
Check with your insurance company to see how much it covers worth of cash, bullion and antiques & collectibles (junk silver) In many cases the amount of cash covered is pretty low but it can be increased if you have other forms of wealth which is yet another reason for having them.
7.Try staying healthy and get private medical cover.
The NHS being what it is its important to avoid it as much as you can. Stay slim, fit and healthy. If you do this you’re already avoiding a fair share of medical complications. If you don’t have private medical, I would recommend getting at least their basic plan. UK is moving towards private medical care and if you happen to need it I at least believe its money well spent. The NHS will not cure, they will just distract you until you die.
Staying healthy also means your medical premiums will be much lower, saving you money.
These are complicated times. Some of the problems ahead are obvious and unavoidable, the impact of others may be reduced with good policies but still common sense preparation is highly recommended.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.