BORN out of a Facebook page Brexpats in Mijas, a group of five like-minded expats were worried and confused about their future once Britain leaves the European Union and the response online was so enormous that they decided to expand the group and rename it Brexpats in Spain so that all British expats could have a forum to discuss their worries and to obtain advice.
They had their first public event at the Hotel Tamisa Golf on the evening of July 27 where far more people than anticipated arrived in order to learn what they could about the group and its advisors. The staff of the hotel was hard pushed to provide enough chairs and the room soon became crowded with many standing to hear a variety of speakers.
It was stressed by original founders Anne Hernández and Christine Rowlands that this is a non-political not for profit organisation which is not run by experts but by expats who live in Spain. They are dedicated to obtaining advice from various specialists to help with questions although at this stage, little can be said for certain.
One thing is sure however and that is this group has only been in existence for three weeks and they already have more than 1,400 members.
Interest is so encouraging that they are appealing for people across the nation to join with them and possibly set up satellite branches as whatever affects expats in Mijas will affect expats everywhere and the group is more than happy to disseminate the information to all. Indeed they plan to hold a more formal meeting in La Cala de Mijas in the future with specialist representatives ready to advise on specific matters that worry the British community.
The mayor of Mijas Juan Carlos Maldonado is totally behind this venture and in a speech to those present he made it clear that the expat community is very important to the well-being of Mijas which has 11,000 British residents and he is dedicated to not only support their rights but to assist in bringing them further into Spanish society by making sure that they are fully registered in Spain to protect their best interests.
The mayor was accompanied by the local foreign residents representative and also attending was Dominic Jackson, representing the British Consulate who understandably explained that nothing was set in stone but the British government had indicated that it would keep in mind the needs and wishes of expats during the forthcoming Brexit negotiations and finished by saying for the time being “keep calm and carry on.”
Also present were legal advisors as well as a representative of a medical team, so that all of those involved will do all they can to help with making sure that all members are kept well aware of developments.
It was initially expected that members of the ‘team’ would circulate amongst attendees to discuss individual matters but due to the fact that the room was absolutely packed, questions were invited from the floor which wasn’t ideal as people started to chat amongst themselves if they couldn’t hear the question.
All in all however this was a highly encouraging first presentation from a band of volunteers who want to ensure that the best interests of the British community in Spain are promoted and they intend to let others know what is happening in the coming months and years.
Their slogan is best described as ‘Fighting for Expat Rights’ and as there is more power in numbers, we at Euro Weekly News stand 100 per cent behind this initiative and would encourage readers from all of our areas to visit their sites www.brexpats.es and Facebook Brexpats in Spain. If you have any specific questions or would like to offer assistance then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.