Better late than never! Britain is allegedly a month away from leaving the European Union and Spain announces that all will be fine for British citizens, deal or no deal. Spain has one of the largest British expatriate communities in the European Union and has been at pains to reassure them that their rights will be protected after Brexit. More than 300,000 British citizens are registered in Spain and an unknown number unregistered, the Spanish government said. The new residency process would apply to about 400,000 people, it is estimated. Continued residency rights are part of a series of measures announced on Friday to protect Britons' rights in Spain in the event of of a no-deal Brexit, including access to health care and social security.
It is very good news and will ease plenty of concern among British citizens but why has it taken so long? Why couldn't the Spanish government have made this announcement a year ago and eased the worries of thousands of British expats? In some cases the damage has already been done with thousands of British citizens leaving Spain because of fears over Brexit and a possible end of free Spanish national health cover. This has been the problem since day one; British citizens have been used as pawns in the negotiating battle and this is not fair. I know many British expats who have been worried sick about how their lives would change after Brexit. Well it certainly seems that they can all rest easy now; no real change at all as long as your paperwork in order. Those who are not fully legal could have a serious problem. Watch this space.