Brexit-weary Britons suddenly want to run away to Canada, too
In the aftermath of the U.K.’s shocking vote to leave the European Union for good, many dissatisfied Britons are now considering a Plan B: moving to Canada.
Data from Google Trends show a huge spike in Britons typing « move to Canada » into their search bar today, rising approximately 100-fold compared to the period 24 hours before.
The Google trends data don’t show the actual numbers of people searching for things, so we don’t know exactly how many people in the U.K. are considering a move to Canada. However, you can get a general sense of the overall volume by comparing searches with each other. We know, for instance, that in the past 24 hours, U.K. search interest in moving to Canada briefly eclipsed interest in soccer player David Beckham.
It also eclipsed interest in moving to Australia and the United States — as well as some other nations in the European Union, including Ireland, France and Germany.
Americans have long viewed our neighbor to the north as a bastion of stability, politeness and good common-sense policymaking. Whenever things get a little crazy here — usually around election time — you’ll see a spike in Americans thinking about bailing out and heading north.
Little usually comes of it, of course. According to Politifact, citing data from the Canadian government, there may have been a small increase in Americans seeking permanent residency in Canada after the 2004 elections. But it’s tough to know for sure.
It makes sense for Americans to fantasize about a better life in the land of moose and maple — after all, Canada is just one porous, friendly border away. And despite the sheer geographic distance between the two countries, it makes some sense for Britons to entertain the same idea. They share a queen, after all. (Fun fact: It is correct to refer to the British Royal Family as the Canadian Royal Family.)
Beyond that, cosmopolitan Britons aghast at their country’s rejection of international integration and cooperation may look with some yearning upon the person of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s youthful, progressive prime minister, who among other things has welcomed international refugees with literal open arms and generally sought to raise Canada’s profile on the international stage.
Again, as with prior American experiences, it seems likely that very few Britons will actually follow through with their Google searches and head overseas. On the other hand, the full repercussions of the Brexit vote will take several years to unravel. There’ll be plenty of time for second-guessing in the months to come.