With much of the Brexit talk focusing on rights for EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the European Union, it has been revealed that there are more than double the number of British people in Spain than Spanish people in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The population of British citizens living in Spain was 296,600 in 2016, compared to 116,000 Spanish citizens in the UK, the ONS said.
Some 78 per cent of Spaniards in Britain work in the public sector (including education and health care), financial services, or the hospitality sector, with half of these between 29 and 39 years old. The number of elderly Brits in Spain has jumped “notably”, the ONS said, citing Spanish National Institute of Population Statistics figures which show the proportion of over-65s in the British immigrant population jumping from 32 per cent in 2011 to 40 per cent in 2016. There are 121,000 British pensioners in Spain, more than the entire Spanish immigrant population in Britain, the figures show. The British citizens in Spain are concentrated around the coastal areas, with the notable exception of the capital, Madrid.
Southern coastal regions Alicante and Malaga have by far the most ex-pats, with Murcia and Almeria (also on the south coast) the closest behind. And, more than one in every six workers in London are EU nationals, according to new research which underlines the vulnerability of the capital to restrictions on immigration after Brexit.
Some 17 per cent of the London labour force come from the EU, by far the highest proportion among the British regions, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and the Migration Policy Institute.
London’s financial and business services sector is the biggest employer of European nationals, with over 190,000 workers. The construction sector is the most exposed proportionally of the major industries in the capital, with a third of workers, while more than a fifth of the retail and hospitality sectors hail from the EU.