IT was always going to cause trouble. My green certificate residence permit states that I am on the registry of Union citizens living in Spain. The Union appears to imply the European Union. So now that Britain is no longer a member of the European Union you can see why it could create some confusion and I suspect that this is what happened at some British airports over the weekend when British citizens were denied travel to Spain because their paperwork was not in order.

Only Spanish citizens and residents of Spain can travel from Britain to Spain at the moment because of the Covid regulations. You have to show that you are a legal resident in Spain. The British Embassy said yesterday that the green certificate, the new TIE residence permits and even a receipt from the Spanish authorities to say that your residence paperwork is being processed is enough proof to show that you reside in Spain.

The confusion at British airports does underline the fact that the new TIE cards, which have been designed and issued especially for British citizens post Brexit, are probably the best way forward even although the old green residence certificates are still valid. Spain has said that the TIE cards, which are biometric, will make your life easier in Spain and this does appear to be the case.

I suspect that one of the reasons why the green certificates have been left in place is because issueing new cards to 300,000 Britons living in Spain would have been a nightmare.

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