Brits living in Spain have understandably felt much uncertainty about the potential impact Brexit may have on their expat lives. Since the referendum, a large proportion of concerned British expats have even reluctantly considered returning home.
As one of the most popular countries in Europe for Brits to retire to, it is thought to be home to more than 300,000 British nationals. With so much to offer – climate, lifestyle, quality schools, relaxation and a slower pace of life – it’s clear why British expats living in Spain are keen for their lives to continue in the same way.
All the original attractions remain and so does many of the reasons for making the move out of the UK in the first place – cost of living, crime, weather, low-interest rates etc. Yet, practicalities such as the potential changes to healthcare access and other areas with financial implications would be something that will have a significant impact on many expats.
For many months, there have been ongoing discussions creating even more uncertainty. However, recently Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez has provided some relief to worried expat communities residing in Spain.
Assurances have been made to protect the rights of Spain-based Brits “whatever the scenario”. Meaning that regardless of a deal or no-deal Brexit situation, British expats living in Spain can be safe in the knowledge that they will be looked after by the Spanish government, with their rights unchanged after Britain’s exit from the EU in March.
Mr Sanchez has confirmed he intends to present a law which outlines this next month ahead of the 29th March Brexit deadline.
However, there is, of course, a caveat – that Spanish expats living in Britain receive the same treatment.
Whilst moving back to the UK is certainly a realistic option for some, to give up on a dream life seems unthinkable for others and they will strive to find a solution. Considering all the financial options available is well worth the time and effort, with many expats finding solutions which mean they can actually stay put.
Of course, more will become clear once Brexit unfolds and the uncertainty dissipates. In the meantime, as a British expat living in Spain, all you can really do is prepare and consider all your options and revise these as and when new information becomes available.