For the majority of British residents in Spain, the referendum result was a big shock. Let us remember that thanks to Britain’s EU membership we enjoy certain privilages in Spain - from the vote in local elections to "non-work permit status." Since the referendum result things have started to settle down, leaving some to come to the conclusion that the result will not really affect us. I am afraid to say that this is not the case. Britain hasn’t even started negotiating yet and if anyone believes that they will enjoy the same status as they have now, they are sadly mistaken.

I suspect that Britain will be given a sort of "out of European Union, in Europe" status, but it could mean that those who move to the island to work will have to apply for a work permit. I suspect that new British residents will also have the old-style residence certificates which at the moment are issued to non-EU citizens. I think you can safely say that we have lost the vote in European elections.

As regards health care, I believe that little will change. As British ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, pointed out when he visited our offices last month, the British government, through a European treaty, actually pays Spain for the use the National Health Service by British citizens. It is a reciprocal agreement.

There was a report today which suggested that British citizens may have to apply for visas to visit some European countries. I think you can safely say that this is never going to happen. It must be remembered that British tourism is vital for many European states, from Spain to Italy and from Greece to Portugal and France. We must prepare ourselves for some changes. These are going to occur far into the future, but they will happen. The referendum result will changes our lives but no-one is too sure to what degree.