Brit expat community in Mijas forms Brexpat association

Published:  14 Dec at 6 PM
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British expatriates living in Mijas, Spain, have started a Brexpats group with regular meetings aimed at discussing their concerns and fears.

In the Spanish Costa del Sol town of Mijas, almost 20 per cent of residents are British expats, drawn to the region by the sunshine and the dream of a peaceful retirement – at least until the Brexit referendum result shattered their plans. Expat resident Meryl Elmusrati purchased her property in 2015, but just as she felt she’d settled in to her new life, the referendum result changed everything. She recently told reporters Brexit has created stress and anguish for the entire British expat community as they’ve no assurances about their future, especially on the healthcare issue.

It’s not just healthcare which is causing grief and fear of the future in the town, it’s also the uncertainty about pensions and the devaluation of sterling. The Brexpat association was formed to give Britons a chance to express their concerns and share them with other like-minded retirees. Judy Filmer had persuaded her blind, 91 year-old mother to join her in Mijas, safe in the knowledge the European health card would protect her from financial shocks – or so she thought. Now she’s fully aware that losing free healthcare would cause major financial problems.

Other expats are worried over their residential status post-Brexit, fearing that in the event of a no-deal Brexit they’ll all become illegal immigrants overnight. The British expat community is crucial for Mijas’s economy as its spending balances out the cooler months when tourism is in decline. The local municipality takes good care of its expat residents, with the mayor telling reporters the expat community generates quality employment for locals throughout the year, not just in the high tourist season.
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