Bremain in Spain calls for clarity on post Brexit provisions for UK expats

Published:  26 Oct at 6 PM
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Following Alfonso Dastis’s pledge that UK expats resident in Spain will be able to stay no matter what the Brexit result brings, campaign groups are calling for reassurance as regards healthcare and other rights.

Bremain in Spain’s chairperson Sue Wilson is claiming the right to remain without assurances on healthcare and other existing rights could result in Brit expats still being forced to return to the UK. She welcomed Dastis’s comments, but pointed out, if expats’ EU citizen rights were not protected, the right to remain would not be enough for the majority of retirees.

Concerns have escalated since May’s admission the Brussels negotiations have hit severe difficulties. According to Wilson, an increasing number of Britons living long-term in Spain are now in the process of applying for Spanish nationality, although the majority aren’t rushing to give up their British passports just yet. Concerns are now surfacing as regards the future status of those who’ve renounced their British citizenship should they need to return to the UK due to a family emergency such as the need to care for an elderly parent.
In such urgent cases, should a visa be necessary, the granting of entry might well come too late.

At the present time, dual nationality is not allowed in Spain, although a recently-started campaign by Guardian reporter Giles Tremlett to rescind the law is attracting interest. Well-known Bremain in Spain member Margaret Hales MBE has urged the Spanish government to change its stance due to exceptional circumstances and allow UK expats to hold both British and Spanish nationality.

Even as the UK is fast losing its popularity with incomers as well as resident Brits, Spain still rated 10th most popular in a recent survey analysing favourite expat destinations across the world. It’s especially popular with retirees due to its low cost of living and warm weather, with many enjoying a satisfactory quality of life even although they’re managing on the basic UK state pension.
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