British retirees in Spain face crisis over bad Brexit deal

Published:  22 May at 6 PM
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An increasing number of elderly British retirees living along the Spanish coastline are already feeling the pinch and are terrified of a hard Brexit.

For several decades, Spain’s Costa del Sol has been a favourite retirement hub for British state pensioners. Many chose the warm, inexpensive lifestyle over having to decide between heating and eating in the UK, but are now in crisis mode over the Brexit threat to their rights, pensions and healthcare.

An article in a popular UK newspaper has revealed Brit retirees are already counting the pennies due to the post-referendum sterling crash, and are, quite simply, terrified at the prospect of a hard Brexit. Their major fear is that, should May go for a bad deal or, worse still, no deal, the EU will punish Britain by making it impossible for Uk expats to stay in Spain.

One retired Briton, speaking during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight, pointed out that, should all UK state pensioners be forced back to the UK, the strain on the already struggling NHS would cause it to collapse. Another OAP said she was being kept awake at night by sterling’s weakness against the euro, adding that every older expat on a fixed pension income is now faced with the necessity to cut back on food and essentials.

The total of registered and unregistered British expats now living in Spain is around 300,000, with the majority being retirees, many of whom came to the Costa del Sol over a decade ago for an affordable, relaxed, enjoyable life. According to one pensioner, everything is now at risk of being taken away without any acceptable alternative being suggested. No-one, he added, is looking after us.

Host of a local phone-in radio show Giles Brown believes there is a total misconception that all retired Brit expats in Spain are wealthy, live in grand houses, own two cars, and eat out most evenings. The fall in sterling, he says, has caused a financial crisis in which large numbers of expats are finding it almost impossible to make ends meet.
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