With the result of the EU referendum too close to call, hundreds of thousands of voting British expats could be crucial in determining the outcome of the referendum, according to a survey by Experts for Expats.
The study found that two thirds of eligible British expats will vote for the UK to remain in the EU, only 25% would support Brexit, while 12% still undecided.
Experts for Expats founder Robert Hallums said: "Despite many expats being unable to vote, with the referendum too close to call, hundreds of thousands of British expats could yet cast the deciding vote – and they overwhelmingly want the UK remain in the EU.
"More importantly, the complete lack of planning from the Government which would underpin any exit strategy has not been forthcoming, creating a vacuum which has subsequently been filled with guesswork and uncertainty. This has made it nigh on impossible for the majority of British expats to side with any decision other than remain at this point in time."
According to the report, 79% of the respondents said they do not believe there are enough facts being presented during the various debates – and of those looking to vote leave only 29% believe they have enough factual information to make an informed decision.
When asked to score the primary factors which could influence their decision, expats rated the benefits of EU membership as the most important factor with an average score of 8.5 out of 10. They also felt that trade agreements were equally important.
The financial impact of EU membership was seen as least important with membership fees only scoring 6.4 and currency fluctuations scoring 7 out of 10, the report revealed.
The Referendum which will be held on 23 June 2016, is likely to have a major impact on expats not just in the EU, but around the world due to currency fluctuations, uncertainty over the UK economy and in the longer term, tax and visa requirements. It’s possible that due to the financial and economic impact of a Brexit vote, many expats could be forced to return home.