Department for Exiting the EU minister meets groups representing UK nationals in Spain to discuss Brexit

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BREXIT MEETING SPAIN: Department for Exiting the EU minister Robin Walker meets groups representing UK nationals in Spain to discuss Brexit and how it affects them. Photo credit: British Embassy Madrid

MINISTER at the Department for Exiting the EU, Robin Walker, was in Madrid yesterday (Thursday) to meet with Spanish government ministers and members of the business community.

He also took part in a roundtable discussion on citizens’ rights with spokespeople from groups representing UK nationals in Spain.

Members of Brexpats in Spain, Bremain in Spain, EuroCitizens and ECREU were welcomed to the British Embassy by Deputy Head of Mission Tim Hemmings, where, as well as meeting with the minister, they spent time with different members of the Embassy and consular teams, discussing issues including health and social care, outreach and communications.

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The aim of the day was to provide the representatives of the citizens’ groups with a greater insight into the work the Embassy network does on behalf of UK nationals, provide an update on the progress of the Brexit negotiations and respond to any questions and concerns.

Minister Walker said: “I was pleased to have the chance to meet with representatives of the British expat community and update them about what the government is doing to safeguard their rights post-Brexit.

I also valued the opportunity to hear their concerns about residency, pensions, onward movement and voting rights, and the uncertainty that many of them still feel about what Brexit means for them and their families.

Securing the rights of citizens has always been our top priority. The draft Withdrawal Agreement will secure the rights of UK nationals living in Spain, and Spanish citizens and their family members living in the UK.

But, in the unlikely event we leave without a deal, the Prime Minister has confirmed that all EU citizens resident in the UK before 29 March 2019 will be able to stay. And I want British expats in Spain to know that, during my meetings, I have underlined how valued and significant it would be if the Spanish Government now offered them the same reassurance.” 

HMA Simon Manley said: “There are 180,000 Spanish people living in the UK, and some 300,000 British people have chosen to make Spain their home.

The strong people-to-people links are at the heart of our bilateral relationship with Spain. That is why I am pleased that Robin Walker was able to meet with representatives of UK nationals’ citizens’ rights groups in Spain, as well as the Spanish Government.

Meanwhile, as the negotiations continue, both the Embassy and consulates will continue with the outreach events that we have planned through Spain, with some 20 events planned between now and the end of the year.

In the meantime, I continue to urge all UK nationals living in Spain to ensure you are correctly registered and stay up to date with the latest news, by signing up for email alerts and visiting the Living in Spain guide on www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain, and following our Brits in Spain social media channels, including on Facebook.”

1 COMMENT

  1. I’m a retired Brit living in Germany, so maybe I shouldn’t be posting on a Spain site, but the principle at stake applies to all of us living in the EU27.

    I hope Minister Walker was not allowed to get away with creating the impression, that peoples’ futures in Spain is only dependant on the actions of the Spanish government. Those of us who spent our working life in the UK, or at least made national insurance contributions and taxes into the UK system, are extremly dependant on what is decided by the British Government. For some of us almost our entire income is from the UK. That is to say pensions and through reciprocal heathcare. Clearly it is going to need the British Government’s agreement to continue with these.
    Whilst these appear to have been signed up to in the Withdrawal Agreement, what happens if there is No Deal with the EU?
    Mr Walker’s DEXEU Department under its current leadership of Dominic Raab, has been remarkably silent on this. That despite issuing a whole batch of emergency measures to come into place for a No Deal scenario.
    There should be no ifs or buts about this. It’s not the fault of British nationals, if the UK Government haven’t thought this through. We are innocent people who acted in good faith under the freedom granted by the EU treaties. The British Government must sort this out and not try and deflect the responsibility onto other governments, who did not want Brexit in the first place.

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