Spain to protect rights of British expats

Spain has introduced a raft of new measures designed to protect British expats in the result of a no-deal Brexit.

A Royal decree made on Friday revealed that Brits will continue to receive access to healthcare in the country at least until the end of 2020, while residency status for around 400,000 British expats will be preserved.

However, the measures are conditional on the same terms applying to Spaniards living and working in Britain. A measure calling on Britain to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the event of a no-deal exit was approved by parliament last week with government support.

“Our main objective is that no British or Spanish citizen is left unprotected, neither they nor their relatives,” said Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell. “There are a series of measures regarding professional access to public roles, social security, healthcare, which are extremely generous so that there is no break from the current situation, access to university and all kinds of economic activity.”

Under the plans, British nationals will be allowed to stay in Spain providing they hold a simple certificate of residency before Britain exits the EU. British nationals and their families would then until the end of 2020 to apply for a foreigner’s identity card which would establish their permanent right to stay in the country.

If they already hold permanent residency rights in Spain, the process will be “nearly automatic”, the draft decree said

It has also been announced that Spain will preserve with freedom of movement for Brits across its border with Gibraltar.

Article published 4th March 2019