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.
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.