Alicante-based UK expats attend consulate’s Brexit advisory meetup

Published:  19 Nov at 6 PM
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Last week’s advisory meetup by the British consulate in Alicante saw some 350 British expatriates arriving at the Playa Flamenca town hall for updates on Brexit’s effect on their lives.

The meeting, entitled Living in Spain and Brexit, was one in a series of events organised by the British consulate with the aim of keeping British expats in Spain informed about the current state of negotiations. In addition to British Consul Sarah-Jane Morris, neighbourhood support groups, charities and various experts were on hand to answer expats’ questions, forming a ‘surgery’ where specific questions could be answered by knowledgeable advisors.

Topics covered included citizens’ rights, tax, healthcare, residency in Spain and pensions. In attendance were representatives from HMRC, giving advice on pension and tax matters, and an official from the Guardia Civil’s traffic department gave information about driving licenses. Chair of Brexpats in Spain Richard Hill told the mostly older crowd his 5,000 members could get free legal and professional advice about their situation post-Brexit, and urged those not yet members to join. Loma Geddy, the consulate’s regional policy advisor, advised attendees about the current state of negotiations, confirming the 300,000 Britons living in Spain would be able to retain their rights, although they must ensure they are registered as residents in Spain by December 2020.

Loma also told the audience the only sections in the withdrawal agreement requiring further negotiations are expat residents’ rights to vote in Spanish elections and onward free movement across EU member states. At the end of the meeting, the consulate team and experts made themselves available for more questions on specific issues. As expected of Britons,, orderly queues were formed, but it seemed the consular officials and other professional advisors might well be faced with a long morning’s work.
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