BREXIT and the EU Referendum have been the hot topics this week across the Costa Blanca, with numerous debates and public talks getting the discussions going.
Things got heated in urbanisation La Marina as the Consul team arrived to address residents. Whilst promoted, maybe wrongly by the organisers, as an EU discussion, British Consul Sarah-Jane Morris and Vice-Consul Sara Munsterhjelm were more focused on addressing the needs and questions of the expatriate community about issues of living in Spain, from the health system to the padron and residencia.
It was clear the Brexit issue was of great concern, but all the Consul team could do was encourage people to use their vote and have their say as the Consul admitted: “No one knows what plan B will be.”
The debate on the UK potentially leaving the UK and how British expats on the coast feel about the issue is also of interest back in Britain, and The Guardian newspaper sent journalist Matthew Engel to Orihuela for a few days to talk to local residents.
At a discussion at the Asturias Restaurant, Punta Prima, he heard both sides of the views from passionate people. These included Geoff Kangley who believes Britain would be best to go it alone: “I don’t like the EU parliament, it is undemocratic and in a few years with immigration as it is England will be like a Muslim state.”
Keith Giles, who has lived in Spain for over a decade agreed: “Think of the future. It won’t affect us so much but I don’t want the future generations to lose our national sovereignty.” The comments angered resident John: “I don’t think people realise what the result would be if we vote to leave.”
Others agreed, concerned what an ‘out’ vote could mean for them living in Spain but receiving UK state pensions and health care covered by the British government with Bob Hammond adding: “Obama has said we would be at the back of the queue with trade if we left the EU. Surely we are better together.”
Only time will tell what the outcome will be and the repercussions following the referendum on June 23.