A GROUP that is fighting to defend the rights of British residents in Spain has sent an open letter to Theresa May following her Brexit announcements last week.
Brexpats in Spain say they are not a politically biased group but their aim is to ‘gather and impart relevant information and changes in legislation as it happens.’
“We do not seek to change the outcome of Brexit, merely to understand issues that could affect our position as British expats here in Spain.”
In their open letter (full text below) they express ‘disappointment in the way we are being treated’ and call for some ‘compassion for us, to accept the duty of care for your British citizens, many of whom still remain devoutly patriotic, and to ensure that we are considered in the negotiations and not just cast aside as we have been to date.’
BREXPATS IN SPAIN letter to Theresa May 25-09-18
Dear Prime Minister
In representation of our 5,500 members in Spain, following your announcement on Friday, we feel obliged to write to you to express our disappointment in the way we are being treated.
We are all human and understand that mistakes will be made but to totally overlook the actual existence of over 1.2 million British passport holders living in the EU must be one of the most calamitous mistakes you could have made.
It was heartwarming to hear that you unconditionally support the rights of the EU citizens in the UK even in the event of a no-deal and we were full of hope that the next sentence would be that you anticipate the EU will reciprocate that but no, nothing of the sort.
Not even words of comfort or solace for us who have been living in limbo for 27 months now without even being able to plan for our futures.
Many of us already feel slighted because we have still not been granted that long-awaited and promised ‘vote for life’. To realise that after 29 March 2019 we shall not be able to vote in the EU elections nor even the local ones of our EU country of residence has denied us a basic human right.
Sadly, not even mentioning us in your statement on Friday has just proven to us how little you actually care, we are personae non-gratae.
Some of our members are pensioners who have paid all their working lives into the UK to entitle them to healthcare and some are already battling long-term illnesses and the added worry that potentially their continued medical care here in Spain will not be funded by the UK is almost too much for them to bear – certainly much more than anybody in their situations should be expected to endure.
Mrs May, the time has come to show some compassion for us, to accept the duty of care for your British citizens, many of whom still remain devoutly patriotic, and to ensure that we are considered in the negotiations and not just cast aside as we have been to date.
We are human beings not inaminate objects that can be used as pawns in this game.
Anne Hernández (President)
Richard Hill (Vice-President)
Member of the Brexpat in Spain Facebook group member Gaynor Keefe said: “Great letter but will it be read let alone answered!”
Penny Miller added: “An honest and clear request for an honest and clear response… but I doubt you will be accorded the same … might I suggest that a copy of the letter could be sent to the Spanish press or even the Spanish government asking if they are prepared to reassure us as to our position in Spain?”
Judith Thurston said: “No doubt it will fall on deaf ears. Mrs May has really not given this a thought at all. What is her plan when we all return to England!!”
Yesterday, Anne Hernandez announced: “Richard T Hill and I have been officially invited to attend an all-day roundtable meeting at the British Embassy in Madrid on 04 October. Participating in the meeting will be Robin Walker, Parliament Under-Secretary of State at DexEU and Minister for citizens rights, the Embassy and Consular teams, representatives from the Department of Health & Social Care and Tim Hemmings, the Deputy Head of Mission.
“We shall give feedback and, hopefully, some answers to your questions.”