An open let­ter from HMA Si­mon Man­ley to Bri­tish na­tion­als liv­ing in Spain

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - BREXIT NEWS -

I wanted to up­date you on the re­cent devel­op­ments on our exit from the EU. As many of you are no doubt aware, on Sun­day Novem­ber 25, there was a spe­cial Euro­pean Coun­cil on Brexit. EU lead­ers agreed the With­drawal Agree­ment and Po­lit­i­cal Dec­la­ra­tion on the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship be­tween the UK and EU.

Cit­i­zens’ rights is a key part of the agree­ment, so this rep­re­sents a big step for­ward in pro­vid­ing cer­tainty for UK na­tion­als liv­ing in Spain. As the PM said fol­low­ing the Euro­pean Coun­cil “If you are one of the over 3 mil­lion EU cit­i­zens who has come and built your life in the UK - come to be our col­leagues, our neigh­bours and our friends - you need a deal that guar­an­tees your rights. If you are one of the al­most 1 mil­lion UK na­tion­als liv­ing else­where in the EU, you need the same. This deal de­liv­ers for you all.”

The next stage is for the UK Par­lia­ment to vote on the deal the Gov­ern­ment has ne­go­ti­ated, which is ex­pected on the De­cem­ber 11. The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment will also vote on the agree­ment.

If ap­proved, the With­drawal Agree­ment will se­cure the rights of 1 mil­lion UK na­tion­als liv­ing in the EU. It means that the 300,000 Bri­tish peo­ple who have cho­sen to make Spain their home have a le­gal guar­an­tee that they will be al­lowed to stay here af­ter the UK leaves the EU on March 29, 2019.

The Agree­ment also de­fines the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Pe­riod as run­ning from March 30, 2019 and un­til De­cem­ber 31, 2020. All UK na­tion­als law­fully re­sid­ing in Spain on De­cem­ber 31, 2020 will be cov­ered by the With­drawal Agree­ment. Un­der the cur­rent rules, UK na­tion­als liv­ing in Spain must reg­is­ter with the Span­ish au­thor­i­ties (at the Ofic­ina de Ex­tran­jeros or at a des­ig­nated lo­cal po­lice sta­tion) to be legally res­i­dent here.

There­fore, I and the team strongly rec­om­mend you en­sure you are cor­rectly reg­is­tered as a res­i­dent, as is your cur­rent obli­ga­tion. For de­tailed ad­vice on reg­is­ter­ing, please see­ing-in­spain. We will, of course, up­date our ad­vice if the Span­ish au­thor­i­ties an­nounce any changes to the reg­is­tra­tion re­quire­ments linked to Brexit.

Dur­ing the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Pe­riod, you will be able to visit, live and work in the EU broadly as you do now. If you want to move to a dif­fer­ent Mem­ber State, you will be able to do so dur­ing the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Pe­riod.

UK na­tion­als and their fam­i­lies cov­ered by the Agree­ment will con­tinue to have broadly the same ac­cess to health­care, pen­sions and other ben­e­fits as they cur­rently do. And you will be able to leave Spain for up to five years with­out los­ing your right to re­turn if you have ac­quired the rel­e­vant res­i­dency sta­tus.

If you have any ques­tions about who is cov­ered by the With­drawal Agree­ment, please see the UK na­tion­als liv­ing in the EU pages on Next steps

■ Make sure you are cor­rectly reg­is­tered with Ex­tran­je­ria here in Spain (please see­ing-in-spain)

■ Sign up for email alerts to stay up to date and find out about our out­reach events, by vis­it­ing the Liv­ing in Spain guide on

■ Fol­low our 'Brits in Spain' so­cial me­dia chan­nels, in­clud­ing on face­book.

Both the Em­bassy and our net­work of con­sulates will con­tinue with out­reach events across Spain to an­swer your ques­tions about your rights and Brexit, with three events planned be­fore Christ­mas and more planned for the new year. And we will con­tinue to up­date you with key in­for­ma­tion in the months ahead. In the mean­time, I would like to wish all Bri­tish na­tion­als liv­ing in Spain, a very merry Christ­mas.

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