Green light for contingency measures should the UK leave the European Union
If you’re a British resident currently living in Spain, you’re probably concerned about your residency rights in this tumultuous pre-Brexit Europe we live in.
The good news is you should no longer worry! At least for the time being!
On March 1st the Spanish Council of Ministers approved a series of measures which allow British citizens residing in Spain to remain living in the country in the event that the UK leave the European Union without a deal on 29 March.
While there’s huge uncertainty about what a no-deal Brexit would mean for Britons living in any of the European Union countries, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell wanted to reassure those in Spain by saying that
“no citizen from either country – Britain or Spain- would be left unprotected in the event of failed negotiations”.
Spain estimates that the measures, which would become law under a no-deal Brexit, would maintain residence rights of the 400,000 over Britons living in Spain.
The Spanish health service will continue to provide care to the temporarily British displaced until 2020, and the right of workers who cross Gibraltar daily will be guaranteed.
Besides healthcare, the decree also covers other areas pertaining to social security, education and many other fields.
However, these “temporary” measures will only be applied if British authorities grant the same treatment to the 150,000 Spaniards currently residing in the UK.
The newly approved contingency plan envisages Britons living in Spain having to apply for their “foreigner identity card” before 31 December 2020.
Without such card they won’t be able to prove their legal residency status.
However, according to Spain’s El País newspaper, the process would be painless and UK nationals who already have been granted permanent residency would obtain their card almost automatically.
If you’re concerned about your status post- March 29th, don’t be.