lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN (2): THE HUMAN COST

Madrid Players  madridplayers.org
In recent months, some British politicians have made blithe assertions that UK nationals in the EU have nothing to fear from the Britain's departure from the EU. However, it is clear that they are not aware of our concerns and are not even consulting us, despite the claims of Brexit minister David Davis. For example, EuroCitizens has been attempting to meet up with an all-party parliamentary committee which will be visiting Spain shortly, so far without success. It is important to make UK and European politicians realise that Brexit could have a terrible human cost: forced repatriation, the break-up of families and even the break-up of communities.

Returning to the UK:
A falling pound, any freezing of UK pensions, the loss of rights to reside, work or run a business in Spain are all factors that could potentially force large numbers of expats to relocate back to the UK, forcing them to start afresh in the "old" country where many will feel strangers after a long absence because many of their old friends will have died or moved away and the landscape of the cities and towns they grew up in will have changed. 


The end of expat communities:
Organic communities of UK expatriates, Spaniards and other nationals, have grown up all over Spain with their many charitable associations, amateur dramatic societies, choirs, sports clubs and other interest groups. If these communities become eroded by the enforced return to the UK of many of their members, the trauma of disruption would hit not only those who have to leave against their will but also those who stay behind. The uncertainties of the situation are already causing great concern across the whole expat community in Spain, especially as no one can be certain about what the outcome will be for them personally. A large-scale exodus will also impact on the many plumbers, electricians, gardeners, butchers, bakers and web-page makers who mainly serve the British expat community. Many will also be forced to pack their bags and return to the UK following in the footsteps of their departing customers.
 

Financial ruin:
Enforced return to the UK will be even worse for the victims of the Spanish property slump with many holding negative equity mortgages on houses and flats that are now difficult or impossible to sell. Even those lucky enough to sell, will never be able to be able to acquire a property in the UK anything like the one they sold before moving to Spain, given that property prices in both countries have moved sharply in opposite directions. 

Family break up:

In some cases, some forced returnees may have to leave behind their Spanish-born children and grandchildren.

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