lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN: (1) WHAT COULD HAPPEN?

Since the accession of Spain to the European Union in 1986, with the exception of some voting rights, UK citizens in Spain have enjoyed exactly the same rights and obligations as their Spanish neighbours. Our right to live, work, do business, study, marry and have children here has never been questioned. Some of us are even councillors in our local communities. All of this is about to change drastically with the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. 

How it could happen:
1. European law or its derogation with regard to UK citizens in Europe as a result of Brexit
2. Agreement or otherwise between the UK and the European Union on the terms of British disengagement
3. Any bilateral agreements between the UK and individual EU countries post-Brexit
4. External factors such as exchange rate movements reflecting political and economic developments
5. Unilateral action by the British government (e.g. policy on pension payments to pensioners who remain in the EU).


The right of abode is not enough:
The principal issue for all UK citizens is the continued right to live in their EU country of adoption (the right to remain as it has been christened elsewhere), as it is for all EU citizens who have made their home in the UK. In most cases, our residence predates the appearance of Article 50 in the Treaty of Lisbon. The rights we currently enjoy and which helped persuade us to move away from our home countries did not have an expiry date stamped on them. We urgently need reassurances about this most basic of rights. Having said that, the right to abode in Spain is meaningless without all the other accompanying rights that make our continued presence in Spain feasible, whether this is the right to work, study, do business or continue to draw the pensions towards which we have contributed throughout our working lives.

The need to make our voice heard:
The Prime Minister has said that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”. No government would deliberately inflict pain and suffering on its own citizens but it could easily do so unwittingly if it is not made aware of the likely consequences of an uncontrolled Brexit on the UK expat community resident in the European Union.

The best way of doing this is by joining an association of UK nationals in Spain:

EuroCitizens (Madrid) https://www.facebook.com/EuroCitizens-1119482284794200/    

ECREU: http://www.ecreu.com

Bremain in Spain (Valencia) http://www.bremaininspain.com/ 

Brexpats in Spain: http://brexpats.es/


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