The debating is over; what's done is done. | Jessica Taylor, UK parliament


The implications of the departure of the UK from the European Union for British residents in Spain were well-known before the end of the transition period. But now that the exit has become fully effective, Anne Hernández, president of the Brexpats in Spain association, says that British residents feel "forgotten" by the UK government.

She blames London for having put those who live abroad "out of its mind". Many, like herself, were unable to vote and decide their future. Now, they are overwhelmed by the consequences of the decisions of others.

It is a sense of abandonment which concerns residents most. There are those who feel deceived by British politicians, including those who - from the outset - were against leaving Europe.

Hernández, who has lived in Spain for over thirty years, points to there being British residents who now regret having voted in favour of Brexit. Some feel almost "hopeless"; they did not understand what would happen and it is not what they want. "But it's too late, as they believed the lies of politicians and voted to leave the EU."

Related news

Life has become more complicated. There are the procedures to ensure that UK citizens are legally resident, while everyday matters such as driving or going to the doctor are affected.

Brexit won't impact everyone equally, notes Hernández. Students and retired people are among the groups who will be most affected by the loss of EU status and of freedom of movement, something she describes as "horrible for the future".

The "swallows" are another group. Mostly pensioners, they have second homes in Spain where they have typically spent the winter months. Now, however, they can only stay in Spain for ninety days out of 180. Hernández believes that this will result in their selling their properties in Spain.

There is a sense of "not belonging to anything". The British who reside in Spain depend on a Spanish government which has always been very sensitive to their needs and has done what it can within the limitations of the situation. But the Spanish government is not their government, and so Hernández insists that it is London who should take care of them.