Over the coming months it appeared that the Spanish government would be introducing a new residence style card for British residents as Britain left the European Union. Now, this was never going to be an easy task because there are 300,000 British citizens living in Spain and all these people would have to exchange their European Union green certificate permit for the new residence card which will only be issued to British citizens.

The process should have been completed by the end of the year or so it was claimed. However, the coronavirus will have disrupted these plans. In fact, some people are saying that the whole process should be delayed. In some ways it does appear to be the sensible option because the last thing that Britain and the European Union want is an unorderly exit form the EU which could directly affect the thousands of British expats living on the continent.

I doubt that many British expats will shed a tear at the demise (for them) of the green certificate. The new post Brexit residence card is expected to include a photograph and therefore it will serve as valid ID. The green certificate is not valid ID because it doesn´t include a photograph. So in some ways British citizens are getting a good deal, as long as the whole process to exchange documents is simple and effective. But until there is end in sight on the coronavirus I suspect that talks on any Brexit plans will be placed on hold.


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S.O. / Hace 6 months

British ‘expats’ did of course once have residence cards with a photo which served as an ID. So why was this replaced with the green certificate back in the early 2000s? I remember reading at the time that some newly arrived British ‘expats’ objected to having to have photo ID cards as they didn’t have to have them ‘at home’. So they took their objections to the EU Courts and won their case, hence the introduction of the simple registration certificate. I have sometimes wondered whether that particular group of people who used the EU to their advantage (but to the detriment of long-time ‘expats’ who mostly were very annoyed about losing their ID cards) actually voted to remain in the EU in the referendum. 🤔