Brit expats on Spain regret their leave votes whilst Brit ambassador ducks the issue

Published:  12 Feb at 6 PM
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In a recent BBC Channel 4 News item, British expats in Spain who voted Leave in the referendum admitted they are now bitterly regretting their decisions.

Some 300,000 British expats are at present living in Spain, divided into retirees, working professionals, SME owners and students or researchers at Spanish universities. The Channel 4 News report featured a number of Brits settled in and near Alicante on the Costa del Sol, with many admitting they’re now scared for their futures in their chosen country.

One interviewee told the reporter he’s bought his holiday home after the Brexit referendum in which he voted ‘Leave’, but admitted he now regrets his vote. His main fear is the loss of freedom of movement, and said he would vote ‘Remain’ should there be a second referendum. Another British couple who took part in the programme have been spending four months in Spain every year as an extended holiday, but have decided not to visit again should a no-deal Brexit be the final result. The main reason is that the pair travel with their dog, and would not wish to have a holiday without him.

Several others doubted that Spain would be forced to shut out all British nationals as they bring in too much money, but had no idea how the consequences of a hard Brexit would affect their lives. One of the major concerns discussed was losing expat rights to free healthcare as paying for private health insurance isn’t possible on a British state pension. One elderly, severely ill Brit living in the Andalusian countryside told it like it is, explaining his medications now cost some 700 euros every month, adding there is no way he could even think about private health insurance. He admitted he’s now terrified, saying he can’t even sleep at night nowadays and has no real idea what to do.

During the same programme, British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley said should no-deal become a reality it’s up to the Spanish government to decide how to or whether to protect the rights of the country’s British expatriate community, thus mirroring the British government’s total lack of concern for its citizens overseas.
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