AS part of its plans to hear what expatriates around the European Union consider to be important as Britain moves forward to Brexit, the Foreign Office sent a delegation from London to meet selected groups and one such meeting was held for a small invited audience in La Cala de Mijas.
The Director for Consular Services, Julia Longbottom who has responsibility for every consular office around the world, Gerard McGurk, Consular Regional Director for Southern Spain, together with British Consul in Malaga Charmaine Arbouin and Vice Consul Rosslyn Crotty hosted a 90 minute question and answer session on the afternoon of February 24.
La Cala de Mijas was chosen as the venue as it has such a large population of British residents and so important is that group to the financial well-being of the town, that Mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado made a brief appearance to thank the British delegation for choosing Mijas to hold the meeting and to confirm his council’s support for the continued well-being of British residents.
The invited audience consisted of representatives of local groups including Brexpats in Spain, Lawyers, Businessmen, Royal British Legion, Costa Women, Councillors, Bloggers and Euro Weekly News and it was explained that the purpose of the meeting was to garner information as to how the British government could act in the best interests of the expatriate community.
It was clear from the outset that those attending were doing so more in sorrow than in anger and that whilst the majority had been in favour in remaining in the EU, they recognised to a great extent that the die was cast and therefore wanted to make sure that they would not be forgotten in the rounds of negotiations.
There were a number of very important questions and responses which will be reported fully in edition 1652 of Euro Weekly News but the overall consensus was that information not rumour is the most important thing so that people are not left worrying about the future and if there is no news, then best to tell residents through announcements to local media rather than just leave people to speculate.