Brexpats in Spain

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© Mattiaath / Shutterstock
Britain hand in hand with Spain.

The vote to leave Europe has left an indelible mark with some expats feeling overlooked and disenfranchised. Expats who have lived here in Spain for over 15 years were denied a vote. With no leave plan and no precedent for the Leave process to provide some reassurance that everyone’s concerns will at least be listened to, for British people living abroad the waiting game is not an option.

Thousands of expats in Spain rely entirely on their pension to survive, and while the downward trend of the pound is perhaps easing, this has already had an effect. Everything British people have taken for granted is in question: Will our pension stop? Will we be able to continue to work here? Will there be double-taxation? Will we have to pay for private health care? Can we own property? The list goes on.

BREXPATS IN MIJAS was a Facebook group set up by five expats in the Mijas area specifically to gather relevant information and distribute it as soon as it is made available, but within two days of being launched the number of followers had reached close to 800. The group was renamed BREXPATS IN SPAIN, since our predicament is shared by all British people who have set up their home and business in Spain. Our hope is that we can continue to expand, by people in other areas forming their own satellite portal to share and distribute information and resources provided under the BREXPATS IN SPAIN banner.

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However, it must be stressed that we are not a politically-biased group. Nor are we a protest group, or profit-seeking. We do not mean to change the outcome of the referendum. Our mission is to understand the issues that could affect our position as British expats here in Spain, and our aim is to gather and freely impart relevant information and changes to legislation. We will be the voice you need for you to make the most informed decisions, regardless of how you may have voted. 

In order to do this, we need your help, and the help of local experts and dignitaries in the community. Already, we have voluntary legal and financial advisers on our side. We are seeking representation in local and central government, both in the UK and here is Spain. Our own mayor, Juan Carlos Maldonaldo, has pledged his full support and the promise to raise our awareness of developments as they happen. BREXPATS IN SPAIN is in the process of becoming a legalised Asociación, an important step in forging and maintaining relationships in our host country. We urge every expat in Spain who would expect the help and support of their local council to be fully legal also. 

The first free public meeting of BREXPATS IN SPAIN will be held at the Tamisa Golf Hotel, Mijas Costa, on Wednesday 27th July at 7pm. Come and have a drink on us, and meet members of the BREXPATS team and hear what some of our experts have to say. All are welcome. Please bring a friend. Above all, bring your Brexit questions and concerns. With your views on board, our voice can only get louder. 

 Facebook Group: BREXPATS IN SPAIN Website: www.brexpats.es – Email: [email protected]

20 COMMENTS

  1. We are compiling a list of such questions and have added your concerns. There is no answer at the moment, but we will be publishing details of the status of popular issues as they stand now. Keep an eye on our website at http://www.brexpats.es. A reminder that we are holding an informal Welcome Meeting this coming Wednesday 27th July at the Hotel Tamisa Golf, Camino Viejo de Coín, km 3.3, 29649, Málaga. There will be Health, Property, Legal, and Finance experts on hand, as well as the Mayor of Mijas, and a representative from the British Consulate.

  2. Incredible that no one seems to refer to the fundamental laws of the EU – not even the experts!! As I indicated previously, I am a doddering old Brit of 86+ years, but, even so, I can still search for, read and assimilate those fundamental laws – and I am no more special or qualified than anyone else. The main reason given for the UK´s decision to leave the EU, is because it does not want to allow anybody, from any EU nation, to have the unequivocal right to enter and remain indefinitely within it´s territory!! The UK thinks it has the power, or ability, to negotiate (with the EU) to be able to enjoy the benefits of one of the worlds most powerful markets, yet expect the EU to allow it to ban entry of any EU national, as it so chooses!! But, just consider the situation of Norway and Switzerland – for them to have free dealings with the EU they can ONLY do so if they allow free and uninhibited entry of ANY citizen of the nations of the EU – there is no way the EU will change the rulings for Norway and Switzerland, so why should it do so for the UK – the survival of the EU is more important than the demise of the UK!! The only option for the UK is to go-it-alone, and die alone!! .

  3. I am afraid that there is nothing that can be done or said until the button to initialise Article 50 is pushed. Only then will Britain´s fate proceed to be sealed!! Until then, there can only be guesses and speculation, absolutely NOTHING concrete. The heads of many nations in the EU have stated that they will not condone any separate negotiations concerning Britain´s departure until the button is pushed – this, indeed, has also been officially stated by the EU itself!! Only after Article 50 is initiated, if Britain continues its request for excluding ALL citizens, of all EU nations, the right to freely enter and reside in the UK, then Britain will expire. Britain no longer has any substantial indigenous manufacturing companies – those big companies that are there now, owned by foreign groups, will have their products so highly taxed (application of tariffs) that they will simply re-house to the European continent. And, almost certainly, the big banking and investment set-ups in London will pull out and re-establish, possibly in Amsterdam.

    I am fortunate in many ways – my wife, for instance, is Dutch and our house is in her name as are all the services – nothing will be complicated because of me being a Brit. Also, I have found out that I would be able to remain in Spain on compassionate grounds because of my wife being an EU citizen with the full right to reside. I am not gloating about this, just pleased – I only hope I will live long enough.

  4. As we have our house on the market, our concern is, is it safe to buy again. There are many things that could affect this decision mentioned above. Hope we can keep getting up to date information from this group.

  5. Property is a major concern. We have people in the property sector ready to provide us information as it is made known. If you can make our meeting on 27th at Tamisa Golf Hotel there will be an expert on hand. If not, join us on Facebook or check out our website. Early days yet but we are pulling out all the stops. Though the website is still in its infancy, we will be posting regular articles and starting a mailing list for regular updates. If you email me, i can add your name and email when it is ready.

  6. We have many concerns about brexit mainly to do with the continuance or not as the case may be regarding health and pensions. Also we were going to make a new will in , accordance with the new guidelines laid down earlier this yr. Now that we are “brexiteers” .(which we would have voted against if we weren’t disenfranchised) what is the situation in regards to that?.
    We’ve lived happily here in spain for 25 yrs and for the first time we feel very unsure of what may lie ahead.
    Ange and John , Estepona

  7. I am a dual qualified Anglo Spanish Lawyer and would be happy to answer your question about wills at the meeting today. Brexit changes nothing inside the UK as the UK opted out of the EU Succession Regulations. Outside the UK the EU Regulation will apply Spanish law to your EU assets being the law of the country where you are Habitually Resident. This means that you may not be free to leave all your assets to each other because of the Spanish forced heirship rules. However you can elect to apply the law of your Nationality which may resolve the problem. As to pensions, and health I have the same worries as you do as well as fears about residence and work permits and the plummeting pound. Brexit is a calamity. Let’s persuade the UK Government to focus on our interests at least as much as they do on those of the Gibraltarians. After all we are over 600’000 in Spain and they are only 30’000 (but they make much more noise than we do!). The right to hold dual nationality would be a good start. Regards Michael Soul Abogado

  8. Thank you so much for your interest and offer to attend the meeting today but the meeting is intended as a means to simply acquaint ourselves with our members, to listen to their concerns and to collate their questions and not specifically answer them today. They will be prioritised and dealt with at specific meetings at a later date and so we would be delighted to take you up on your offer if you could talk at one of those on the subject of wills, Time and dates to be confirmed.

  9. I know I am 73 and not glued to a computer 24/7, only when it suits me. I have tried hppt://brexpats.es and info @brexpats.es and only getting the newspaper EWN, which is not what I am expecting or am I just wrong. My previous email I did not make it clear but I do live here in Cártama and have done for 14 years – apologies for that

  10. I have been a Briton for the last 86 years and 5 months, have not only worked and lived in the UK until 1968 (then 1970 to 1977) but also in the Netherlands, Germany and France – I mention this to indicate that I do have some experience of attitudes and feelings in other European countries. Apart from realising how much more, and better, educated and professional our continental cousins are, they all (effectively) have very similar objectives as do we, the Brits. But their objectives are built on a sound foundation of common sense which overrides the inherent nationalistic attitudes of most peoples – and that is why they remain in the safe domain of the European Union and the Brits are left clinging to the extreme edges of the EU skirts that will soon be too ragged to bear our last desperate grasps of the World´s great losers. What very few in Britain fail to understand, is that the EU is a serious entity – it is not a game where the rules can, or would be, changed to suit the minority. And that means Britain will have to follow the rules, especially the insistence that ALL fundamentals have to be observed – that the right of free movement of all EU citizens has to be adhered to, otherwise NONE of the other benefits will be given. Wake up Britain, you are no longer the centre of the Universe let alone a World leader – we exist because it is convenient, at this time, for the powers-that-be to find it to be so. Be under no delusion, the survival of the EU is more important than the survival of a ´stand-alone´ suicidal nation!!

  11. Just as Laurence Paterson pointed out, there is no such website as http://www.brexpats.es, only an introduction to EWN and certainly not to the BREXPATS themselves. I have little faith that BREXPATS are going to have any success in what they think themselves to be – no wonder they are ‘worried and confused’ as EWN reported the issue 4-10 August, 2016. Hopefully, there might turn out to be some real ´thinkers´ among the 1,400 members they claim to have (how does one become a member anyway?).
    I would add to my first email, that Brits abroad will, sometime in the future, be treated just the same as any NON EU (or affiliated) citizen – just consider, both Norway and Switzerland have full access to the EU block, but HAVE to accept the right of all EU citizens to enter their countries, UNCONDITIONALLY
    and have NO say in that. Further, those two countries have to pay certain (massive) sums into the EU coffers and receive NO repayment in return!! Even further, neither Norway or Switzerland will have any say in the present or future laws of the EU. If those two countries have to follow those rulings so, also, will the UK have to do the same – we will have their status only. I am saying all of this because nothing can be arranged specially for the UK – if things were changed for the UK then they would also have to be changed for Norway and Switzerland – and that will never happen, especially as those two countries have already accepted the rulings. Again, Wake up Britain!

  12. Please can you put me on your mailing list for any further information as it is released.. We have lived on Mallorca for coming up 20 years, and have Residencia Permanente

  13. Perhaps whoever can’t find the Brexpats in Spain website is trying to click on the address in the article which isn’t a link. Just type in brexpats.es in your browser and it should take you straight there.

  14. To John of EWN – I would suggest that you, yourself, try to log into the group BREXPATS site by typing brexpats.es – it only leads to EWN!! Are you trying to make all your readers feel inadequate? It would certainly seem so. If you can establish that I am being stupid over this situation, I will apologise profusely.

    Awaiting an answer and ready to grovel.

  15. Hello Bridger, If you really can’t find our website or our Facebook group, or even send an email to us for our newsletter, then you may wish to attend one of our live events and meet us that way. If you can’t travel so far to a meeting, we are a setting up drop-in offices in La Cala de Mijas Town Hall, and one near the Fuengirola bus station (to be announced soon). If you are not able to drive, you may at least be able to find a bus. Failing that if you belong to a group or club we would be happy to come to you, by arrangement. In the first instance please email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you.

  16. Whatever the merits of the EU referendum, there are British Immigrants in Spain concerned about the effect it will have on their future.
    BREXPATS IN SPAIN started as five concerned expats making connections to people who can help us to be informed and be heard, and not forgotten, while our country back home negotiates its future relationship with Europe. We want those relationships to continue with Spain, and for Britain to remember our rights as well and not just use us as a bargaining chip. Our Facebook group now has 1700 members, that is 1700 expats with our same concerns and their willingness to add to our voice gives us the strength to be heard in Parliament in the UK. There are many other groups in Spain with similar goals, many of which we are seeking to merge with. Some of us here were denied a vote, if that is not a right of every Britain, then I don’t know what is, and this rule is on our agenda. Complain about the Referendum all you want, but there is no going back on the Brexit. We can only keep reminding Britain that we are here and that we can at least try and make sure we are part of the negotiations. We owe it to ourselves.

  17. Victor,before typing the advice I did exactly that and went straight to the Brexpats in Spain site. We would never want to see any of our readers grovel (not quite true!) and certainly not you. I genuinely don’t know why you can’t to their site as I visit it regularly for updates.

  18. In the very unlikely event that the UK could negotiate with the EU to exclude any EU national citizen to have the right to enter the UK, without exception, then, logically, the same would also apply to any Brit living in Spain (or other EU nation). Regardless of what anyone might think Spain could do to enable Brits to be able to stay in Spain, that could only happen so long as it did not violate EU laws or conventions. I have read, recently, that any foreigner, living in Spain, who already has had a permanent certificate of residence for more than 5 years, would, automatically have the right to remain in Spain. That edict, if it is true, could/would have very interesting situations. Just consider, for instance, that any foreigner, with a permanent certificate, would also have to be paying tax on all of their Worldly income in Spain. The Spanish National Health Service is funded by the taxes paid in Spain – there is no separate premium paid by any tax payer in Spain, whether they be Spaniards or other nationals. An NHIC card is issued (or should be) to everyone covered by the Spanish system. This should mean, of course, that all tax payers in Spain, with an EHIC card, can use that card anywhere in the EU. But, could/would this be acceptable to the EU Commission in the case of Brits no longer in the EU? Logically, it should not be acceptable – but who knows?

  19. Victor, you like many others on these pages seem to have forgotten the aim of those un-elected idiots in Brussels. That is to turn Europe into a single state – i.e.The United States of Europe under their control.
    When that happens all governments will disappear and we will be under the jackboot of Brussels.
    This will destroy what is left of British culture and the country will be fully open to anyone who wants to come in, including immigrants. We will have no say whatsoever on how our country is run.
    I am convinced that Spain will not make it difficult for ex-pats to continue living here, for if they do, their economy will take such a hit they will never recover.

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