Fears that UK-based Spaniards may lose workers’ rights if Britain leaves EU

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Brexit would leave future 'up in the air'

LAST UPDATED: 12 Apr, 2016 @ 12:03
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THOUSANDS of UK-based Spaniards could be stripped of their employment rights in the event of a Brexit.

It comes as world leaders urged British voters, including Spain’s 319,000 registered expats, to vote to remain in the EU in June’s referendum.

AT RISK: UK-based Spaniards could face quotas
AT RISK: UK-based Spaniards could face quotas

The 200,000 Spaniards in the UK could lose free access to the NHS, their social security benefits and require work visas if Britain leaves

Philip Hammond, Britain’s foreign secretary, has admitted Britain may have to introduce quota system if there is a Brexit.

Hammond said: “Are we going to negotiate bilaterally with every country, in this case Spain?

“Are we going to put quotas on countries? Would they expect them to be reciprocal?”

Spain’s foreign secretary José Manuel García-Margallo has also voiced fears about what may happen to British-based Spaniards, 50,000 of whom arrived in the last year.

Meanwhile, Aerospace giant Airbus Group has warned its 15,000 UK employees about the dangers of a Brexit vote.

“We do not believe leaving will increase the competitiveness of our British based operations,” a letter from six top Airbus Group bosses said.





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42 COMMENTS

  1. Well, it will be a tit for tat situation, so I don’t think it will be detrimental as far as Brit expat’s are concerned and as Lord Lawson said in his interview with Marr on Sunday arrangements will need to be negotiated. So the Spanish and the other hundreds of thousands of EU members that reside in the UK will also be effected besides Brit expats.
    At least Britain will not be dictated to by the unelected in Brussels and British laws will be adhered to. First thing, do away with the Human rights fiasco and let our own Judges decide if it’s against the rights of someone being separated from his cat, or getting married to a British person gives them the right to remain in the UK. Seems strange that an older woman always seems to marry a young foreigner in which case it’s the foreigner responsibility for his wife, not the British government and introduce a law that prior to a marriage they seek legal advice as to living in the country her husband comes from. Wonder how many young foreigner would get married to his old gravy train. Example of the young foreigner that married his gravy train only to divorce her within a short period of time (month’s I think) and took half of her wealth. Wonderful our British laws. Perhaps a certain quota of Refugees from war torn county’s require’s a through vetting prior to be accepted into the UK and those that are not from such places, no entry. Yet in Australia you can’t even take a carrot or any food into their country never mind a human being.
    Oh’ so many things one could list, that is if it’s an “out” vote.

  2. arnez,
    it’s not only foolish older women but foolish older men as well. Your quite right, if any EU country decides to get tough we can reciprocate, Project Fear can only be successful with the easily frightened ones.

    • Stuart, correct. Putin has given a fine example. Do you also recall when the threat of the Cypriot government was to take saving above the €50 mark the Russian president threatened that if Russian money was touched, Cyprus will no longer exist. Their money was safe.

  3. If London were to curtail Spaniards’ freedoms and privileges in the UK following a Brexit, is there any Briton in Spain who doesn’t acknowledge that Madrid would do the same thing to us? Regardless of whatever money we might bring into Spain, the voters would insist on it. Likely changes – a work permit, a six-month visa, convertible account, no health cover, no vote or political presence and – from the UK – a freeze on pension increases. Yes, I lived here long before Spain joined the EU, but things won’t be the same – for one thing, we lost our residencies in 2009 (see your police letter that you no doubt carry with your passport ‘the bearer of this document is an EU citizen with the right to live anywhere in the European union’ – and if you are no longer an EU citizen?).
    Between Spaniards, Frenchmen, Germans and other EU nationalities present in the UK at this time, there are an estimated two million people – a similar number to the British residing or working in the rest of the EU.

  4. Lemox, I think you maybe jumping the gun. Negotiations no doubt would need to follow. It does not mean if there is an “out” vote on June 23rd 2016 that’s it. I suppose you must know that there are many other nationalities living in Spain that are not or never have been members of the EU, have they been kicked out?.

  5. A contiguous six month visa isn’t likely without a regular long term visa application as required of other non Schengen nationalities. That would be 3 months in, 3 out on standard touist visa, OR non-lucrative (non working) visa where one proves an income of c. €38,000/ applicant (with addition for spouse & children). This first year goes towards permanent residency when five years is reached: 1 year plus 2 years plus 2 years = 5 years (3 applications). Thus Brits would be treated the same as the rest of the western countries, and all the ‘special’ status is gone. Not an unfair policy really.

    • Well worth listening to chas on this subject. He’s a living example of a non-EU expat. What he has to do, so will you, after a Brexit.

      • Stefanjo, I suppose that also includes you. No wonder you wish to remain in the EU and as I said much earlier remaining in the EU does have it’s merits as far as expat pensioners are concerned.

    • Ah well, it looks like a lot of Brit expats may be returning to good ol’ blighty. I suppose that also effects the thousands of Spaniards that work in Gib, that’s if there is an “out” vote.

    • I forgot to say:
      1. proof of both standard medical insurance. Our insurance through my wife’s job covers us.
      AND
      2. medical evacuation insurance for catastrophic need.
      So, if you get hit by a truck, have massive heart attack, etc., you will be evacuated out at your insurance provider’s. This is readily available throughout Euope

      • Well chas, now you can see one of the great pulls to the UK, not only wonderful free benefits but also wonderful free medical care. Is that what Obama has been trying to do.

      • Chas: I recall a while ago , you gave a pretty comprehensive listing of what is required from a non-EU immigrant in order to reside in Spain. It was enlightening. Nothing in it for you, but a reprise would be timely and maybe a kindness for some. Perhaps minds are more prepared to attend now.
        The OP would be well advised to adopt that list as part of their support for a “Remain” movement.

        • Those interested in non-Schengen ‘non-lucrative’ residency visa application process, see OP’s “British people will not be able to live in Spain if the UK exits EU, minister claims”, Rob Horgan, February 29. My application steps, March 4.

  6. As I’ve said on here before, I don’t like what the EU has become and it needs to radically reform if it is to survive but from a personal viewpoint, I really can’t see how Brexit can possibly help either Brits in Spain (whether part time or full time) or Spaniards working in the UK. It’s easy for Brexit campaigners to say that we could negotiate new treaties but something vital is bound to be left out and/or forgotten, it would be shed loads of hassle and I for one can’t be bothered with it. It would create a loads of uncertainty and I can’t be bothered with that either.

    Much as the status quo does not thrill me, I don’t like the alternative so I (and my partner) have now decided to vote to “Remain”. Call me a coward or whatever you like but I have given it a great deal of thought and nothing I have heard from the Brexit campaign has convinced me that leaving the EU will be easy or user friendly.

    • Jane G, I can quite understand your feeling about remaining in the EU and like many others that have property in Spain would also vote to remain “in” and as I have stated previously from an expat pensioner’s point of view remaining in the EU does have it’s merits. But if I had no investment in Spain and used it purely as a possible holiday outlet and resided in the UK I would vote “out”. Would your thought’s be the same of voting “in” if you had no property in Spain.
      I am fed up with Britain being consistently being taken for a ride. Not one suggestion, one amendment, one alteration has been heeded by the unelected few at the top table. There is no democracy, no yearly accounts and no voting rights of the people as to who should have control of five hundred or so million’s of people’s. But they love taking our money, the second highest contributors to the coffers and I agree with everything that the “out” are fighting for.
      If it’s an “in” vote we will be dragged into a Federal state, that is the EU’s aim and regardless of what the government may say all it will need is the signature similar to the Lisbon Treaty which the people of Britain were not even given the opportunity to vote for. Btw, Jane G, Britain had always had a freedom of movement, providing you had a job to go to, and I’m talking before we even joined the common market.

  7. I think the argument from many is ‘what’s in in it for me’. Sadly it is precisely this attitude that has destroyed so much of what made Britain a good place to live once. In France, with all it’s economic problems looming, the overwhelming majority of French actually do love their country and it shows in so many ways. The same can be said for Germany, I just don’t get that feeling when I go back to the UK, most Brits know the price of everything and the value of nothing – soy muy triste.

    • Stuart, I think you have hit it on the head. I find if I happen to mention for an opinion to the younger crowd they just don’t seem to care except the old folks who usually say “We should get out”.

  8. I think this may clear some doubts regarding the UK voting on the referendum.
    Very interesting and pretty well cover’s questions with required answers regarding the “in” or “out”
    Try and get it.
    “http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32793642”

  9. We have to vote out! It’s too serious for our children and the future of mankind. Eu is a beast system to control everyone with their political correctness. We have to change this the hard way instead of being scared of being beaten up if we leave. It’s ridiculous. There will be no problems if we leave, no worries about fear that we will not be able to reside in other countries and visa versa, can’t you see it’s all lies all of it is a con…..we have to get out and I hope Spain get out too and Greece and France, everyone. THE EU IS EVIL…….VOTE OUT!!!!!

    • Well said Bernard with real passion, even with the initial uncertainties of leaving, Britain leaving could well lead to dominoes falling in the corrupt EU. Too many cooks, tongues, finances and traditions to converge as one. Many of the World’s countries do pretty well without the EU, America would never relinquish their Independence yet Obama is visiting the UK to spout how the UK should remain. Butt out of UK politics Obama and sort your own problems out!

    • Bernard, not sure if you are being serious or not with your “future of mankind” comment lol. A meteorite impact might affect mankind, but being part of the EU, or not, would not affect mankind. Gave me a good laugh today anyway, thanks for that.

  10. their plan is not just an EU. What They actually want is a Mediterranean Union. They want the whole region mixed up so everyone is divided by race and religion and too busy being terrorised so they can take away civil liberties and freedom of speech until we can no longer challenge authority legally. Look they are prosecuting a comedian in Germany for taking the Micky out of Erdogen, it’s already starting. People everywhere are being locked up for stupid comments on Facebook and Twitter. Google will invent a microchip that connects to our brains what history they want us to know, what culture, until it is bland across the board and no one can be creative anymore and all we can search for is what they control. they have illegally toppled Libya which was absolutely fine before all because gaddaffi wanted to start an African bank. They cold blooded killed him. They ruined Iraq and cold blooded killed Sadam based on lies and started civil wars in Syria and Ukraine. They funded and armed these uprisings with the intention of regime change so they can continue to lock down the entire world with their miserable debt enslavement and reliance on the petro dollar. They want turkey in the EU? It’s not even fathomable is it? They want everyone to be on minimum wage scrounging and desperate while the corporations that control the oil, supermarkets, pharmecuticals, fashion departments, arms dealers, etc . TTIP to make sure we never eat real vitamins again in our lives while they patent the chemical clone of real fruits and veg all so they can continue to make money out of us. It’s not a joke Fred, the fashion departments maybe sounds like one again but not the rest, it really is a beast system designed to enslave humanity… We have to stop being led by fear. There is a different way to run the world, what they continue relentlessly to try to achieve is to destroy history and culture until we are all at our wits end, microchipped and taxed before we wake up for our breakfast. Their only interest is chaos and money with total disregard for human life, until all emotion and feeling is gone and we then become total cattle. Vote out, but it’s only the start. We all need to stop this ….it is imminently on our doorstep ……think about it. What the hell are they all doing? How can we sit idly by just accepting the lies, just total and constant never ending lies! Next it’s killary killton the psychopath hell bent on war with Russia. A meteor is a good idea but it will only save mankind if it lands on Washington. The EU is the lackey for the US. Why do you think they want us all in? Why? Think about it……it’s completely real and happening right now, already…a well constructed EVIL UNION. How can we continue to trust anything they say, they have lied every step of the way about everything and we seem to not be able to challenge that and continue to believe the never ending relentless lies spouted by our news channels. Almost all the same everywhere spouting the same lies as propaganda, you only have to travel a little bit to see it. The information we all get is the same from them and we know it’s lies. We know 9/11 was a lie. We know it. We ALL KNOW IT, but still want to imagine it’s not possible. We want to stay ignorant addicted to our Facebook page taking selfies and being absolutely as predictable and dumb as possible! Look how we all do the same stupid pictures of our food and in fancy bars to get a teeny bit of attention. We are so far ignorant we don’t even know it. It’s wrong what they are doing in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia as an ally it’s corrupt, criminal and evil and we all know it but do nothing and say nothing. A meteor on Washington and Brussels please! STOP THIS ALL NOW! Before we can’t. And we will tell our children it was because we were worried about filling in a one page application for a visa so we didn’t have to have the extra hassle. When all freedom is gone, What will they say to that ????

  11. Bernard,
    1984 came and went a long time ago in the UK and so few noticed. They were too busy scrabbling for the crumbs that Thatcher threw them when she stole the national assets and sold them cheap to her friends in the City.

    Instead of keeping the oil wealth for the British people as the Norwegians did she not only sold it off cheaply to foreign, mostly American oil companies but made sure that the oil rigs and platforms were built abroad, many built with black labour in the Netherlands.

    The wilful destruction of British industry happened because neither the Labour party or the unions were prepared to do whatever was nec. to stop her. Passivity has long been a problem in the UK and this has spread to Europe as a whole. The Dutch let their elite privatise everything and it turned what was once one of the cheapest west European countries to live in, to one of the most expensive.

    As you say, there is no real news, you get what the elite want you to have, which is disinformation. That is why there was real fury from the American oligarchs when Snowden released all that data, showing that it was they that ruled America and the ordinary citizen had no privacy at all.

    Now the Panama Papers confirm all this with the info that. GE which shed over 300,000 jobs in the USA and employs cheap Asian labour instead has stashed away over $118 billion and Microsoft $108 billion and Amazon a whopping $180 billion.

    The other day Osbourne lied when he said that tax evasion costs the UK treasury £16 billion per year, try £60/70 billion.

    Inside or outside the corrupt tool of big business that is the EU, sooner or later the majority of Brits have to grow some and deal with a minority of thiefs and traitors inside the UK. Brexit is small potatoes in contrast to this cancer that has ruined the UK for too long.

  12. Well, I will sign a petition on 38 degrees asking Obama to stop negotiating TTIP. I don’t know that it will do anything, but we have to try. This could be stopped before it really is irreversible. OBama is here to continue to pretend to be the fake American friend, but mainly to negotiate TTIP and of course in that case he needs UK in th EU. the sordid little plans they concieve are at least obvious to us. There is even evidence, they have been caught out so many times and ways but it never gets discussion. About the creation of ISIS as their brilliant plan to destabilise Syria, which has been wonderful, about the phone call caught discussing how to create a situation to overthrow the Ukrainian govt available on YouTube if you just search it and replace them with people who will be controlled amongst countless others. WMD’s etc etc etc etc etc etc. Ohh god and the lies about RUSSIA and PUTIN ….it’s a never ending list the crimes they commit and manage to come out as if they are Moral high ground. It’s so shameless. Boris even admitted yesterday that The EU was the baby developed by the CIA in the bleeding first place to do exactly what we all know. I am so sick of the lies. I hate the laws we live under and I hate how they want us to block our real energy and true purpose to be here on earth. It is not to work 9-5 but too many think if you opt out you are odd. Yes…you are correct we are very very dumb about taking orders and accepting the version we are given. I hate it. At least we can try…. VOTE OUT !!!!!!!! For a modicum of hope

  13. Stuart you are correct. People are just thinking of their own personal interest about remaining in the EU, as all talk is about finance by big money people and not the welfare of the British people and it’s independence. But I do believe if one is a resident in Spain, filled all the correct tax requirement forms and are paying into the system then I don’t think there is much to be concerned with. This will all come to light on the day of recognition. They don’t wish to lose any of this income or future investments from the UK. Okay, there maybe a little bit of extra work involved in remaining in Spain but if not suitable just pack ya bags. Simple really. But for the UK to give up the freedom through a divorce from the EU is worth the financial lose for perhaps a short period. Most divorces cost money, some happy some not, that’s what the referendum is about, take ya pick.

    • Knew there was something familiar about your style (or lack of it) Of course! It’s Caccia back again, but having to hide in shame. Come on, own up.

      • Never heard of the guy or was it a female, but as you are on the subject of shame do you not feel ashamed of your attitude towards “old codgers”, if not then you certainly are a coward besides your negative inputs are just a waste time and space. Mind you you are good for a laugh and just love your statement about “People with no vote are blowing in the wind”, you down to a tee, Hope people read my opinion of you regarding your attitude towards “old codgers”, the people that gave freedom to Europe, saw they couldn’t handle the responsibility and have decided to voice their opinion in a “Leave” vote.
        Btw Stefanjo I did vote, voted on the internet which showed the majority of the voters wanted an out. You never did reply to my input regarding that “old codger that fought those many battles, was it guilt or just ashamed. “Come on, own up”, just love your little sayings, keep it up they’re always good for a laugh.

  14. British can’t exactly just move to Spain now unless retired. Aside from the fact there are no jobs in Spain for Brits they need to show proof of income and health insurance to be resident. Just the same as before Spain joined the EU.

    • Marion, that is an interesting point. If Spain can ask non-pensioners for proof of income/proof of job offer and private health insurance before allowing them to become resident, does anyone know why the UK cannot do the same? Why does the NHS operate so differently and hardly ever charge other countries (both EU and non-EU) for the treatment of their citizens? Why is it possible for Spain to operate so differently from the UK on these issues? We need answers to all these questions.

  15. Marion, and different from the UK before joining the common market/EU etc. No entry unless you had a firm job offered, and if it’s an “out” vote the same, unless of course, one married a British national. I think you will find that Spain joined the EU before UK did and in America it’s called a Green Card.

    • Spain joined before the UK? Erm not by a long way. Spain’s entry was in 1986. Gibraltar was in it with the UK much earlier in 1973. Their entry was only on the basis that they stopped harrasing Gibraltar. Like most things the Spanish just ignored that once they’d been accepted.

      • Bluemoon, perhaps you are confusing the EEC with the EU. In-fact I don’t think we even joined the EU but was dragged in by the EU taking over the EEC. I could be wrong.

  16. Stuart, presumably most French people are in agreement with you so why don’t they have an EU IN/OUT referendum too? They have a very similar democracy to us and if they feel the same way as you, what is stopping them?

    We cannot assume anything and there is no guarantee that Brexit will mean that things go back to the way they were before Spain joined the EU and became full members in the early 1990s. Spain has form when it comes to ill-thought out, unworkable laws and you cannot guarantee that new treaties and trade deals will work in our favour and something vital is bound to be left out. There are all sorts of things that we take for granted that we haven’t even thought about that could cause difficulties with Brexit. Take a look at some of Chas’s posts and that will give you an idea of what you might be up against – no thanks.

    I don’t like the EU and completely understand why so many people want to leave but I’m not going to put myself on offer and make my life more difficult. It’s hard to imagine how Brexit could help Brits with connections in Spain and vice versa. I doubt that Brexit would make Britain the place that everyone wants it to be anyway so it could be a hollow victory. I don’t like the status quo but I like uncertainty even less so unless the leave campaign can give me some cast iron guarantees, I am voting “Remain”.

  17. Stuart, did you see the load of old crap that Osborne came out with. They are really running scared now and about time previous conservative Chancellor’s who also know how the financial system works could cut his school boy theory’s to pieces. He has been quoting figures that even his sources say can be wrong and rely on various future information. If you saw his speech did you notice his two female colleagues who didn’t seem quite happy in what they were saying and appeared to be under the influence and extra mouth pieces of their boss.
    As you say, the in vote of of expats is “what is in it for me”. Not very British me thinks.

  18. Jane G. Do you think the wording of the referendum has some significant meaning, such as Leave or Remain as to the In or Out that has been thrown about. Leave or Remain could be interpreted as a proposal inviting a more positive discussion from the EU whereas In or Out is more of a decisive conclusion. Remember the EU had turned the tables before to suit their agenda and if the UK did finally leave it could effect not only the UK and the EU regarding trade but also Worldly affairs.
    Just a thought, but as you say not enough detail has been given as to the relationship with Spain regarding UK citizens rights in Spain, such as hundreds if not thousands of UK citizens that have purchased property in Spain etc.
    Good ol’ Dave has a lot to answer for, but is this just one of his frightening ploys. So now we have Obama coming over to lecture the advantage for the UK citizens to remain in the Euro zone but would prefer a lecture as to how it would effect America if the UK voted to Leave instead. Obama is not a great lover of England as shown by his action by removing the bust of Churchill no sooner as entering office in the White House.

  19. Jane G,
    do you remember when the French like the Irish rejected Maastricht, did either the French or Irish governments listen to their people, of course not, so why would that idiot Hollande listen now.

    I’m sick and tired of metros and deluded lefties calling the NF’s supporters extreme right wing fascists, they are not, they just want to live in a France that they recognise as their own culture.

    You mention increased paperwork, blame a culture of laissez faire in the UK that has gone on for far too long, as I said before the Brits must change their mentality on this, so I see this as a bogus argument that should be dropped. I remember when I went to live in the Netherlands that I was shocked at the amount of paperwork involved in daily living, guess what, you get used to it.

    Your comments about Spain and it’s arbitrary attitude to law, that should have been dealt with firmly by the EU decades ago, your giving another reason for massive change in the EU culture or it’s dissolution. Change is not going to happen, so dissolution is the only way forward.

    I listened this morning to Poles speaking about their take on a Brexit. They all said ‘they were’nt coming to pick up benefits but to work’. The question that was never put to them was ‘ what would your attitude be if the situation was reversed – I wonder if their answer would have been the same as so many Brits.

    The fundamental principle of freedom of capital and labour is non negotiable – no one can deny that this exists only for the benefit of big business – I repeat again that the EU was set up to benefit big business at the expense of ordinary European citizens and that all over Europe, the people see this and are angry – vamos a ver.

  20. Thanks Stuart, that was very informative. I think we can all agree on something and that is the EU has to radically reform or die. It cannot carry on as it is if it is to survive but we need more people in places like France to come forward and demand referenda. It would be better for the UK if other member states make noises about referenda and force change rather than us voting to leave and taking the fall and endless reprisals that come with it. Greece is now on the brink of needing another bailout and the Italians are fed up with the migrant crisis so there is definitely a mood for change. I want that change to come about with help from all member states and not just on the back of the UK voting to leave the EU. We could find ourselves being used and set as an example to other member states who are unhappy.

    I think Juncker needs the boot and we need an emergency summit in Brussels.

  21. Jane G,
    I have nothing to add to your rational and sensible post, it says it all. the problem is that Europe’s elite have become so used to their addiction of untrammeled abuse of power, none more so than in the UK, that I fear that unless their uniformed goons desert them entirely like in the French revolution, it will be a very messy transformation.

    Hollande has no intention of removing the 10,000 armed soldiers from the streets of France’s big cities, especially as the nocturnal meetings of citizens sees no abatement. They will not stop more terrorist actions. I was in Toulouse last week and was appalled to see clusters of French Paras, that is no way to patrol effectively. They become an easy target for a jihadi armed with a mini Uzi.

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