BRITISH ambassador to Spain Simon Manley has said Mariano Rajoy and the Spanish government ‘value the presence of Britons in Spain’.
Speaking to the Olive Press at Malaga’s English Cemetery, the UK’s man in Madrid revealed he has held meetings with national, regional and local leaders to put across expats fears over Brexit.
Manley is also holding discussions with expats as the UK government prepares for negotiations over leaving the EU, with access to health care one of the primary concerns of Spanish-based Brits.
Manley said: “We are trying to meet with expats and groups representing them to understand their concerns and transmit those concerns to our colleagues in London.
“Many expats have suffered from the fall in sterling, which has affected pensions. We want to work with Spanish authorities at the national, regional and local level to ensure Brits can continue to live and buy property here.”
He added: “Whether it be the Spanish national government, from Prime Minister Rajoy down, through to presidents of regional governments I have met and many a city mayor, all of them tell me they value the presence of Britons here in Spain.”
Manley was taken on a tour of the cemetery with the mayor of Malaga Francisco de La Torre by the president of the English Cemetery in Malaga Foundation Bruce McIntyre.
The ambassador and De La Torre stopped to lay flowers at the grave of British writer Gerald Brenan.
Manley said: “People like Gerald Brenan did so much to enable Britons to understand the reality of Spain in the 20th century. His cultural legacy lives on.
“I read about Spain through the works of Laurie Lee, Orwell and Brenan. It’s important to try and understand the context in which we’re working and understand more about the historical relationship between the UK and Spain.”