It appears the Spanish government are working hard to maintain the rights of legally registered British Citizens living in Spain.
British Ambassador Simon Manley has reassured the 300,000 brits living in Spain that the Spanish government will do all it can to maintain existing rights, but of course this depends to a certain amount on whether this will reciprocated by the British Government, ensuring the existing rights of Spanish Citizens in the UK.
In a packed meeting in the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Manley assured the crowd that contingency plans for a no deal Brexit should be in place before the 5th March, when parliament dissolves before the snap general election called by Pedro Sanchez. .
What will happen in the case of a no deal Brexit?
British Citizens who are already legal residents in Spain will have a period of grace to register as non-european citizens, although it is hoped that this will be a smooth transition and will be almost automatic.
Once registered you will receive a non european ID card Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros (TIE). If you have been legally registered in Spain for longer than 5 years you will receive long-term residency (residencia de larga duración). If, on the other hand you have been resident for less than 5 years then you will have to wait 5 years before being given long-term residency. The same will apply to British Citizens who arrive after the 29th March.
Accessing the Healthcare System after Brexit
The existing S1 and EHIC card will be abandoned and a new deal will be struck between Spain and the UK about how to fund the 77,000 British pensioners that use the Healthcare System in Spain.
Representatives from the lobby group Eurocitizens were at the meeting and welcomed the measures being taken by both the Spanish government and the UK government.
“One of the most difficult things to deal with for UK residents since the Brexit vote has been the lack of certainty about our futures. Now at least we know that, despite a Brexit cliff-edge, in Spain there will be a lengthy transition period and potentially simple administrative procedures to enable us to bridge the sad transition from European citizens to third-country nationals,”.
You can keep up to date with Brexit developments at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain
If you’d like to get more involved with Eurocitizens you find out about local initiatives in your area on their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/EuroCitizensSpain/
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