News: Living in Spain and Brexit, Algorfa La Finca meeting provides advice
Written by Inmo Investments - 21 Jan 2019
The British Consulate issues clarity for expatriate community
JUST LAST WEEK officials from the British Consulate in Alicante and Councillors from the Town Hall in Algorfa, arranged a public meeting at La Finca Golf and Spa resort last Thursday, 17th January.
Titled "Living in Spain and Brexit", the meeting sought to inform local British residents of their rights in Spain, and the steps both the Spanish government and regional authorities had taken to secure the future of expatriates living on the Costa Blanca.
With the United Kingdom set to withdraw from the European Union in a little over two months time, officials are keen to mitigate potential fears associated with the political discourse and to address concerns voiced by the British expatriate community in Spain.
The meeting was chaired by the British Consul from Madrid and the Vice Consul from Alicante. The event invited local participation, with guests able to speak directly with Town Hall experts and representatives from local voluntary support networks.
The Consular team emphasised that British nationals already legally resident in Spain will continue to enjoy all their current financial and social benefits just as they do now, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
She emphasised that, even under a "No deal" scenario, the provision of public healthcare services would continue unabated, as the governments of Spain and the United Kingdom had already established an independent and reciprocal mutual agreement some time ago.
The agreement guarantees the rights of United Kingdom expatriates living in Spain and Spanish nationals living in Great Britain, and neither the Brexit outcome nor the future relationship between the UK and the EU will have any bearing on the legality of the accord.
Brexit: protecting expatriates rights to pensions and healthcare in Spain
Pensions are also protected under the independent agreement, and British residents already drawing a UK state pension will remain protected and continue to be fully entitled to annual increases issued by the UK government.
Expatriates who have existing pensions aggregated in other EU countries and those waiting to access their pension entitlement will also be protected by law, with future annual increases guaranteed as they were before the Brexit withdrawal.
However, the Consular team reminded British residents that current Spanish legislation requires anyone planning to remain in Spain for more than three months to register as a resident with the Spanish authorities.
"Simply having an NIE and Padron registration is not enough", they said.
The Consul emphasised that those intent on becoming resident should pursue the matter with some urgency, particularly as it is possible that requirements and conditions for Spanish residency for British nationals could be amended in the future, post Brexit.
The Consulate team acknowledged that the resources of the National Police, the government body responsible for residency registrations, were already overstretched, and appointments for the Spanish residency procedure were becoming more difficult to obtain due to increasing demand from both British and other EU nationals.
For current official advice and Brexit related news, UK expatriates are advised to check the essential information pages of the British government website.
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