Spain tells expats not to panic over Brexit

Pedro Gonçalves
Spain tells expats not to panic over Brexit

The Spanish government has urged British expats not to panic because of Brexit as a 21-month grace period is guaranteed, not matter the outcome of the divorce between the UK and Europe.

As the original deadline for Brexit has passed and the second date is likely to also face another extension, the uncertainty has left many Britons in Spain worried about not having their residency certificate and not being able to get an appointment. 

Madrid has issued an advice update to the expat community stating that there is a 21-month grace period during each the British living in the country will be considered a legal resident, even if they do not have the certificate. According to updated information on the government's website, the key thing to bear in mind is to have proof of being a resident before the UK leaves the EU. Registering with the local padrón at the town hall will suffice.

Spain is working under two scenarios. If a deal is reached, the withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, which may be extended. During the transition period expat rights under EU Law will be maintained, with the following exceptions: The right to vote and stand in elections to the European Parliament and the use of the EU citizens' initiative.

Once the transition period ends, the withdrawal agreement stipulates that rights of residence, work, study and social security for the British expats will be maintained.

In the event of a hard Brexit, Britons in Spain will become third-country nationals and the Spanish government will allow for a period of 21 months fro the date of the UK's withdrawal for UK nationals residing in Spain before the withdrawal to obtain new documentation, namely the  Foreigner Identity Card - TIE.

A HARD Brexit would wipe €9billion off the Spanish economy and slash more than 100,000 jobs, according to a report which highlights the full impact of Britain and the EU failing to reach a deal.