Spain playing fair with its British expat population

Published:  15 Jan at 6 PM
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Is the recent message to Brit expats from the UK Ambassador in Spain yet another example of ‘too little, too late’ after Spain’s promises?

Over the years since the Brexit referendum, British expats in European Union member states have either been totally ignored or received confusing mixed messages from their relevant diplomatic authorities. Expatriates living, working and retiring in Spain have accused the UK of treating them as bargaining chips in bizarre negotiations which never seemed to result in any solid information on the basis of which those involved could reorganise their shattered lives.

Now that it's all over bar the shouting and the Spanish government has made sure its resident British expat population will be able to continue with their lives, the British Ambassador’s latest message contains nothing other sources haven’t already revealed. Starting with the end of this month’s ‘leave’ date, by then passed in the UK parliament as well as ratified in Europe, he points out that British expats’ rights are totally independent of any security or trade negotiations.

The basic message is that expat residency registrations with the Spanish authorities must be done by the end of this month in order that the right to live and work, access healthcare and receive uprated UK state pensions may become guaranteed. The Ambassador also states any post-Brexit changes to residency requirements or the system itself will be notified in an update to the government’s Living in Spain guide.

How and why rights which are now supposedly guaranteed can be subject to post-Brexit changes is not explained, leaving skeptical expatriates with the impression that, yet again, they’re being treated like mushrooms – kept in the dark and fed excrement from male cattle. For those who as yet have at least some faith in the British government’s responsibility for their welfare, its Facebook sessions should liven up their lives whilst they wait for solid information.
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