Brit expats petition points the need for Spanish dual citizenship

Published:  6 Jul at 6 PM
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A petition urging the Spanish government to allow UK expats to apply for dual nationality was launched on Monday.

Well-known journalist Giles Tremlett together with fellow journalist William Chislett started the petition as an attempt to alert the Spanish government to the dramatic situation faced by Brits in Spain. Tremlett, known for his work with the Economist and the Guardian, has been resident in Spain for 25 years and was unable to vote Remain due to the 15-year disenfranchisement imposed by the UK government.

Tremlett told local media representatives that, having lived in the country for so long, he has a dual identity, adding he’s been thrown out of his European citizenship with no say at all in the matter. His petition requests that the Spanish government allows the generous act of allowing Brit expats resident in Spain for 10 years or more to take dual nationality.

The petition also mentions the plight of the thousands of Spanish people at present living and working in the UK, pointing out that they are as desperate as are UK expats in Spain. Also put forward is the fact that a change in the law to allow dual citizenship has a precedent in that, last year, the Spanish Prime Minister offered dual citizenship to the descendents of Jews forced out of Spain during the 15th century Spanish Inquisition.

Tremlett is concerned about his British state pension as he’s worked in both countries, and for his sons, born in Spain but with only British nationality. At present, the petition has attracted some 400 signatures and has a target of just 500 but the more people who sign, the more chance that the PM may consider its proposals.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Royal College of Physicians is voicing concerns that European doctors are now refusing to take already offered jobs in UK hospitals due to possible Brexit effects. Given that many experienced doctors as well as newly-qualified medical graduates are opting to leave the UK to work overseas, the already understaffed and overpowered NHS may be further destabilised.
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