The effect of Brexit on British expatriate residents in Spain

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Brexit.

ONE of our readers, M Davies, from Gata de Gorgos, Alicante wrote in with the following observations: Many British expatriates are worried about their status in Spain should Brexit occur. Their worry is compounded by the opinions of ill-informed and scare-mongering people, including British MPs, bankers, industrialists, and academics who probably declared doom for the UK outside the EU. 

Most expatriate Britons arrived in Spain, post Spain’s entry to the EU, and have benefited from the EU Schengen, open-border agreement but some came under the visa system. All those people who are legal, ie hold a residencia, or who leave Spain after 182 days in any one year, should be unaffected by Brexit. 

It is only those Britons who have chosen to live illegally in Spain, who should be concerned by Brexit and they can legalise their status should they wish to do so. 

Also there is controversy about resident British pensioners, who can obtain free Spanish health care. This is due to an agreement between Britain and Spain, not the EU, and therefore free healthcare should be unaffected by Brexit. 

The Spanish government must be aware of the financial value of foreign expatriates to the national and local economies. In the off-season, tourist areas are dependent on foreign residents to support local businesses. British expatriates are the predominant foreign residents in Spain, and so it is unlikely that Spain would want British expatriate residents to leave Spain post Brexit. 

All enfranchised British expatriate residents who wish to vote for Brexit should do so because Britain will survive the exit, and in all probability will thrive outside the EU. 

9 COMMENTS

  1. What an excellent article. Well written, well researched, well informed and so right in pointing out the major concerns, i.e, those who live here illegally and those who take their information from the people I have long described as ‘The Ex-pat Experts.’ This merry, sizeable band claim to know everything about anything when in reality they know very little about anything at all.

    They number among the thousands of Ex-pats living permanently in Spain who vociferously complain about ‘illegals’ living in the UK and enjoying it’s benefits, financial and otherwise, while conducting themselves in no less a manner.

    They show no concern of or empathy with the British living in the UK, paying higher rents,food, water, fuel and taxes than they enjoy here. Their vote to remain in is not one made with any other person in mind than themselves.

    It is their Democratic right to vote to remain in or out of Europe, assuming that is that, having given up UK residence in most cases many years ago, they feel it fitting to vote in the year 2016 on an Issue and Referendum set up for the British permanently resident in and directly affected by EU /UK legislation.

  2. Sorry Will but no. I will be exercising my right to vote and will be voting to remain. This is not selfish. It is based on what I believe to be best for my friends and family in the UK,the country as a whole and the wider european community.

  3. I personally believe the UK will flourish more outside the EU than remaining in it.

    I am confident the UK and the British public will be much better off out as will business and most things in general will function better and in a fresher manner while British life itself will become simpler for many.

    I agree with Will in that I also feel that many expats vote to remain will not be not one made with any other person in mind than themselves… while there are millions of British in the UK who have to continue in the EU farcical joke for a union long after those expats are gone!

    Whatever happens I don’t think a REMAIN vote will be the end of it as over the next couple of years even those people who voted to remain will start to regret their vote as the EU becomes more expensive, more corrupt and more dysfunctional.

    On the side: I had a really good laugh the other day when I read Leo McKinstry’s “The EU is one of history’s most spectacular failures” on the “Better off out” website, a small snip of text from that is as follows:

    EU regulation on the “Marketing of Hazelnuts” contains 2,509 words, compared with just 70 in the Lord’s Prayer.

    In 2012, a high-level meeting was held in Brussels, attended by 76 officials as well as the President of the European Parliament, to agree the name for a corridor in one of its buildings… the meeting failed to reach a decision.

    😉 😉 😉 😉

  4. Gary, I hope you do not regret your decision to “remain”, I have lived in Spain for more than 13 years and I have Friends and family in U.K but for their sake I will be voting to “leave” as it must be better for them. As for us living in Spain I see no change to our way of life as Spain needs us here.

  5. But I think that pensioners will find their pensions frozen – no longer getting any increases.
    Friends that have emigrated to countries outside of EU find this is the case for them.

  6. When I read about the meddling of the E.U. Brussels in a country’s affairs I get annoyed. A fine example is that ‘they’ have decided that every European country should now have the 12 stars of the European Union on their national flag!
    We need to get out now before they decide when and how often we go to the toilet!!!!!!

  7. But UK IS part of EU at present, and MEPs can be voted in by everybody.
    So if there is a problem with ‘Brussels’ its the same as saying the MPs in UK meddle in the country’s affairs!
    The main ‘problem with Brussels’ is how the sensationalist British media – e.g. Dail Wail & Eggsress – interpret it.
    We have the same EU rules in Spain, but its all in the interpretation & sensationalising of the mass media.

  8. Is it possible to get accurate information whether our pensions would be ‘Frozen’ , I gather we will be OK for access to continued free Spanish medical services, but it appears to be difficult, nay impossible to get information regarding things that are important to make a balanced decision, does anybody know where this info is available ?

  9. [quote]Is it possible to get accurate information whether our pensions would be ‘Frozen’ , I gather we will be OK for access to continued free Spanish medical services, but it appears to be difficult, nay impossible to get information regarding things that are important to make a balanced decision, does anybody know where this info is available ?[/quote]
    Going by friends that have emigrated to countries outside of UK, they get the pension that was operative at the time of their departure, but no increments.
    And there’s no guarantee that medical services will be free as it is an EU thing and other countries that have special relations with EU – i.e. Switzerland and Norway – have to pay! 🙁
    I personaly think that the pound will fall against the Euro if UK exits & hence pensioners could suffer badly with a Brexit.

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