British expats to be allowed to stay in Spain

British expats living in Spain have been told they will be allowed to continue living in the country, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis told the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that his government would make sure the lives of ordinary Britons in Spain are “not disrupted” even if Britain leaves the European Union without striking a withdrawal deal.

“As you know, the relationship between the UK and Spain is a very close one in terms of economic relations and also social exchanges. Over 17 million Brits come to Spain every year and many of them live here or retire here and we want to keep it that way as much as possible,” said Dastis.

The latest Office of National Statistics figures show that approximately 300,000 British expats live in Spain, with just over a third aged 65 and over. This is the highest amount British expats living in any EU country, and double the number of Spaniards living in Britain.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is currently involved in ongoing discussions regarding so-called withdrawal issues with the EU, including expats’ rights. She is under pressure from some Tory MPs to leave the EU without an agreement in place, and this announcement could be used to fuel the argument that a no deal Brexit is a workable solution.

Article published 23rd October 2017