Brit expats in Spain optimistic for second referendum

Published:  17 Jan at 6 PM
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Following Tuesday’s shock parliamentary vote, British expats in Spain are hoping against hope for a second referendum.

Spain is the all-time favourite for British expats fleeing the UK’s unreliable weather and its less than satisfactory quality of life for ordinary people, with those who’ve retired to the sun first in line for the devastation of a no-deal or hard Brexit. Predictions of the damage either option will do to the UK economy may or may not be accurate but would take some time to become apparent to the bulk of the UK’s population, but UK expats’ lives will change drastically just 70 days from now. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, all UK citizens in Europe will become illegal immigrants overnight, and a hard Brexit will shave yet more off their pensions as the pound slumps.

For the majority of Brits living in EU member states, a second referendum is their only lifeline, providing recent polls are correct in stating a majority now support what’s being referred to as a People’s Vote. At present, not a day goes by without more information about the effects of any form of Brexit – totally different from the spin and fake news published in 2016. In Spain, it’s not just small British-run businesses feeling the loss or reduced spend of their customers, it’s the Brit-owned real estate agencies who see the entire picture and its negative changes.

One such, established for 20 years, reported just two cash -funded property sales to expat Britons, as against 80 per cent of his total sales to UK citizens some 10 years ago. Its owner is praying for a second referendum as he believes a Remain victory will save his business. The major concern amongst younger British expats is the loss of freedom of movement, essential for those who’ve started businesses based on the ability to travel within the EU. Retirees subsisting on the none-too generous UK state pensions are afraid about continued payments, currency rates and uprating as well as the possibly inflationary effect of Brexit on the Spanish economy. Across the country’s exp[at communities, the main fear is being forced back to a Britain in recession due to an ‘advisory’ referendum.
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