Generation Brexit

Spain has to be fair

Alejandro Newsome
Alejandro Newsome | Jul 1, 2017 | in Custody Battles

300.000 Brits have been moving to Spain in the past few decades assuming they could start a new life as European citizens. For those who have lived abroad for more than 15 years, Brexit is an imposition they could not even vote for. Spaniards living in Britain can get double nationality after 5 years of residence, but Brits living in Spain have to give up their British nationality first. It is not fair and Spain should change it and allow double nationaltiy! 

edited on Jul 1, 2017 by Alejandro Newsome

Elena Turci Jul 2, 2017

Hey Alejandro... why Spain should bother to change its laws for the Britons living in Spain and taking advantage of their NHS? Britons in Spain do not even vote in Spanish elections....

Alejandro Newsome Jul 3, 2017

Hey Elena, thanks for your comment :) Brits living in Spain are only allowed to vote in the EU Parliament, and the local and regional elections. This is their right as European citizens. The reason why they can't vote in the general elections is because they don't have access to the Spanish nationality if they first do not give up their British one. The situation is currently different in Britain, where a Spaniard can have access to the British nationality after 5 years of residence (and its compatible with their original passport). This is the reason why I think Spain should allow British-Spanish double nationality just like they already do with countries such as Portugal, the Philippines and most of South America. If Spaniards in the UK (150.000) have one right, the same should translate to Brits in Spain (300.000).

It is true that high numbers of Brits in Spain come to retire and add little value to the economy and society, but there are also a great number of them that have embraced Spain as their home from a young age, and have decided to work and live here. With regards to the NHS, in Spain access to healthcare is universal and free even for illegal immigrants. So even if there is a hard Brexit, Brits in Spain will still have the same access to healthcare as any Spaniard. However, the question will be over how Brexit will affect pensions. This will definitely be a strong bargaining chip for Spain during the negotiations, as 300.000 Brits live in Spain, and many more own holiday homes.

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Tom Badley Jul 13, 2017

Brits in Spain are proud to be British.