Ambassador: Estonians remaining in London will depend on job market

Estonian Ambassador to the U.K. Tiina Intelmann.
Estonian Ambassador to the U.K. Tiina Intelmann. Source: ERR

Brexit officially entered into effect on Saturday, with a transition period beginning that will last through the end of the year. Speaking to ETV news program "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Friday, Estonian Ambassador to the U.K. Tiina Intelmann said that Estonians remaining in the U.K. will depend on what direction the job market situation will take.

Andres Kitter, head of LHV's London branch, said that once the transition period is over and the post-Brexit period truly begins, then it will be critical that laws are relatively similar, which would significantly simplify entrepreneurs' working and doing business in both London and the EU.

The further London drifts from Brussels, the higher the prices or more difficult the accessibility of some products will become. Estonian Triin Linamägi, who is active in the field of tech investments, said that London will remain an important center in this field, and that she plans to continue working there.

"For now, yes, I plan on staying in England, although we'll see what the next three to five years will bring," Linamägi said. "If these changes aren't very favorable to my work and living here, then I am entirely free to move around, and we are citizens of the world. Especially as Estonians, we're prepared to move around anywhere if needed."

7,500 Estonian citizens living in London have already applied for residence permits. Estonians want to know what will happen, but according to the Estonian Embassy in London, not many have left yet due to Brexit-related uncertainty.

Intelmann, the Estonian ambassador, said that whether or not Estonians would remain in the U.K. would depend on the job market situation.

"We know that the Brits want smart and educated people," she said. "Immigration schemes already exist for this, so if educated Estonians want to come here and do business here, then I believe that [the U.K.'s] doors are open."

Egerth Jaansalu, who works as electrical design engineer at the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament, has a British passport and does not have to worry about any practical concerns on that front. She said that the elections held in December helped ease tensions in society.

"People are satisfied that they know now what will happen and where to go," Jaansalu said. "Whether it will go uphill or downhill — at least it's going somewhere now. There is no uncertainty as there was for three and a half years."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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