UK expats in Spain urge MP select committee to protect their rights

Published:  19 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
British nationals living in Spain and other EU member states have told British MPs a speedy gesture is needed to prevent their losing everything.

Representatives from the Bremain in Spain group together with other campaigners for the right to remain spoke yesterday with members of a parliamentary select committee about their fears for their futures after Brexit takes effect. Their message was that the UK government must make the first move as regards the difficult question of rights for UK expats in Europe and EU expats in Britain.

Sue Wilson from Bremain in Spain together with head of the British Community Committee of France Christopher Chantry addressed the select committee led by MP Hilary Benn, insisting May must make the first move towards legitimising expat positions. The pair stressed that, as the UK government has agreed to trigger the controversial EU exit, the Brexit negotiations should open with discussions about the plight of millions of expats who’ve been living in anxiety and fear since the referendum.

The ‘Exiting the European Union Committee’ heard that Brits living in EU countries are still British citizens, and as such are entitled to be looked after by their government. Theresa May needs to act immediately, they were told, thus encouraging EU member states to reciprocate for the benefit of their nationals resident in the UK.

The group’s stance was echoed by Nicholas Hatton, head of the 3million group campaigning for the rights of EU member state citizens living in the UK. In addition, the committee was informed the majority of Brit expats have valid concerns over the provision of healthcare and pension rights as well as their rights to remain.

The campaigners brought up the point that pensioners overseas are suffering financially since the referendum due to falling exchange rates, with Wilson referring to the false perception that British citizens living in Europe are on an extended holiday with good incomes and a decent standard of living. Many expats, she said, are now struggling financially and would be unable to afford the high premiums charged by Spanish private health insurers. She added the overall health of the many expats who’ve moved to Spain’s warm climate due to conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism would be at risk should they be made homeless and forced back to the UK, with the failing NHS unable to take the strain of providing for their needs.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive