BRITISH consul, Sarah-Jane Morris, addressed a full meeting room at the Playa Flamenca Town Hall to talk to British expats about Brexit.
As part of the Consul’s pledge to keep people as informed as possible about the Brexit developments, the consulate team have been attending numerous meetings addressing residents, businesses and local groups since the referendum vote last summer: “It is important to tell you what we do know and what we don’t know” said the Consul whilst admitting that unfortunately there is still many things they don’t know.
She explained that since the referendum vote, they have been crunching the numbers to work out exactly how many Brits are living in Spain as she urged people to ensure they are registered on the padron to give them an accurate vision to present back to London. These numbers will be crucial when the negotiations begin to best represent the needs of British nationals living in Spain. Currently figures show around 250,000 British people on the padron in Spain and around 108,000 British nationals are receiving their pensions in Spain.
However there was uproar in the town hall building by some when the padron was mentioned with many criticising the local workings of the Orihuela government team, claiming they are being denied access to getting on the padron.
Some claimed despite having all the necessary paperwork they are still being told by the town hall team that they can’t go on the padron. Councillor for Foreign Residents, Sofia Alvarez, who was also in attendance, assured this wasn’t the case and pledged to look into individual cases, overseen by the Consul.
In talking about healthcare and pensions, again nothing has yet been confirmed about where people will stand and what the situation will be after Brexit, but Sarah-Jane Morris stressed that the consulate team in Alicante and Madrid were on hand to answer any questions and dispel any rumours as they worked to represent the British nationals in Spain.