HUNDREDS of concerned people have signed a petition demanding British expats in Spain are given dual nationality.
British journalists Giles Tremlett and William Chislett launched the Change.org petition following the Brexit referendum result.
They are calling on the Spanish government to make the offer to the 25,000 Britons who have lived here for more than 10 years.
Tremlett, the Economist’s Spain correspondent, and Chislett, a former Times journalist, have lived in Spain for over 50 years between them.
But like thousands of British people living in Spain, they were unable to vote in last month’s crucial referendum.
“The plans of tens of thousands of British people in Spain who have made their lives here, their careers here, made their families here have changed dramatically against their wills,” he told the Olive Press.
“Most of those people would have voted Remain, but lots of them did not have a vote.
“Other than being able to vote in the European elections, we are completey disenfranchised if we have lived out of the UK for 15 years.
“We are qualified people who contribute to the Spanish economy. But now do not know what will happen to our pension rights, our health rights.
“What about our right to live in another country for a couple of years and look after parents who might be ill? Or our childrens’ rights to go abroad to university then come back?
“I couldn’t vote on a decision that affects my children and my life and career choices.”
He added: “Until a Brexit deal is signed, everything is up in the air. That is why we are calling on the Spanish government to offer joint nationality.”
The Change.org petition has gained over 1,500 signatures since going live.
Currently, Spain only allows dual nationality for people from Latin America, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal.
But last year PP leader Mariano Rajoy granted joint nationality to descendants of the Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century.
And in 2009, surviving British members of the International Brigades were given Spanish nationality.
Tremlett said: “Spaniards in Britain can ask for joint nationality after five years.
“This week, the German vice chancellor has already proposed joint nationality for young Brits following Brexit. So the idea is out there in other countries.”
Tremlett also backed a plan calling for parliamentary representation for Spain’s estimated 800,000 British expats.
“I think it is a very good idea. The French and the Italians do it,” he said.
“We are completely without a voice here, and we need one now as everything has been put through the shredder since Brexit.”
PLEASE SEE PETITION BELOW
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