Tremlett petition may give hope to long term UK expats in Spain

Published:  13 Jan at 6 PM
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Long-term British expats in Spain are watching in hope that Giles Tremlett’s efforts on their behalf will succeed.

As the information-starved Brexit saga rumbles on, British expats living in Spain are stuck in no-man’s land with no-one to turn to for answers. Long-term Brit residents originally came to EU member state Spain with the assurance their rights would be guaranteed and, even though many were denied the right to vote in the referendum as they’d been outside the UK for over 15 years, are now faced with having to repatriate.

Basically, EU citizenship is being taken away from many tens of thousands of British citizens, and there’s nothing they can do about it. One man, however, is ignoring useless appeals to the British government and going straight to the Spanish government with a feasible solution for long-stayers. Giles Tremlett, along with fellow journalist William Chislett, is requesting dual nationality for Brits with more than 10 years’ residency in Spain. In an article for the Olive Press newspaper, Tremlett explained how his plan came about.

The day following the Brexit vote, Tremlett appeared on a Spanish TV programme along with Spanish foreign minister Jose Garcia-Margalio. In conversation, the minister asked him why he didn’t just apply for dual nationality, and was amazed when he was told Spanish law disallowed it, as his own son was applying for dual nationality in the UK.

The conversation formed the basis for Tremlett’s actions once he’d realised granting the same to Brit long-term expats needed only a simple change in Spanish law. In 2016, dual nationality was offered to Sephardic Jews in compensation for their expulsion 500 years ago, and Germany is now considering offering it to UK expats.

Tremlett’s petition is restricted to expats who’ve paid Spanish tax or social security contributions as he believes this will give it more clout with the Spanish government, and he estimates some 25,000 UK expats would take up the offer. The plea, ignoring the British government, is based on Brexit’s effect, reciprocity and long-term expats’ proven commitment to Spain, with Tremlett encouraging expats to sign up and ask their Spanish friends to do the same.

Source - Olive Press
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