THE UK FOREIGN OFFICE does not know how many British citizens are residents in Spain.
That is according to a government response to a Freedom on Information (FOI) request asking how many British citizens were on the Spanish civil register.
Three weeks after the FOI request was submitted, the Foreign Office replied: “I can confirm that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not hold information relevant to your request as we do not record information on the number of British nationals resident overseas.”
They were asked how many British citizens were officially resident in Spain and for an official estimate of the number of Britons living in the country. The two figures are widely thought to be dramatically different.
Delayed response times to FOIs are not unusual.
The British Office For National Statistics estimates 309,000 UK citizens were living in Spain this year, while the UN estimated a very similar number for two years ago.
However, these figures are unlikely to take account of the British residents who live in Spain but are not registered on the Spanish civil register.
The register listed just over 250,000 British people as residents in Spain in 2016.
However, the number who have not registered could be significantly higher.