United States named as top destination for business execs wanting to work abroad after Brexit

Could long-distance assignments be the answer if the cost of EU placements increases?

At a time when Brexit is focusing minds in global mobility about how to react to political change, the United States has topped the list of countries people in the UK would most like to work in.

So, could longer distance assignments become more popular when, or if, Britain finally leaves the EU in March 2019?

There’s no doubt that working abroad, once the preserve of middle management, is rapidly becoming a vital part of career development for young executives who are hungry for travel and adventure.

But there are fears that Brexit could have an impact on how easy it is for corporations to send workers on assignment within the EU.

At Crown World Mobility we recently surveyed 2,505 business professionals in Germany, Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands, and 1,013 in the UK, who work in companies which offer international assignments.

The survey aimed to find out how Brexit could affect people’s future in international business and what their current fears and concerns are.

The results for those running global mobility programmes were encouraging because 9 in 10 respondents in Germany, Netherlands and Ireland said they would like to work in another country during their career – and the figure in the UK was 92 per cent.

And when it came to where they wanted to work, many were looking further afield than Europe.

Respondents were asked to select their top three destinations and the results from those in the UK showed:

  • The United States came top of people’s wish list on 40 per cent, way ahead of second-placed Canada on 24 per cent.
  • Spain was third on just over 16 per cent, followed by the UK on 16.
  • Germany grabbed fifth place (15 per cent) ahead of Hong Kong (13 per cent)
  • France, Switzerland, Italy and Singapore also made it into the top 10

The popularity of the United States as a business destination was strong in the rest of the EU, too.

  • It was ranked first by both Ireland and the Netherlands.
  • It came second in the table in Germany, where workers still identified the UK as their top destination for an international assignment.

In the UK, a move to the States was especially popular amongst those working in larger companies with more than 500 employees and those on higher wages, although it finished top in almost every category.

In fact, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore were also in the top 10, which certainly shows British workers are open to longer distance assignments – something which could be important in the short term as businesses start to look for new markets to fill the skills gap.

It is further evidence, too, that global mobility will survive the Brexit transition, even as the industry prepares to evolve and adapt to a new economic environment in 2019.

The top destinations assignees would like to work

Those surveyed included workers already on assignment in another country


  1. US 40.3%
  2. Canada 24.1%
  3. Spain 16.4%
  4. UK 16.1%
  5. Germany 14.7%
  6. Hong Kong 13.0%


  1. UK 31.1%
  2. US 30.4%
  3. Germany 26.9%
  4. Spain 17.3%
  5. Switzerland 15.9%
  6. France 14.5%


  1. US 31.7%
  2. UK 25.4%
  3. Canada 23.6%
  4. Spain 19.8%
  5. Ireland 18.9%
  6. Germany 16.9%


  1. US 27.6%
  2. UK 27.1%
  3. Spain 22.4%
  4. Germany 21.8%
  5. Netherlands 16.0%
  6. France 14.5%

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