Poll on Brits taking dual or Spanish nationality to be presented to UK and Spanish governments

British citizens based in Spain urged to take part in Brexpats in Spain survey

LAST UPDATED: 26 Sep, 2017 @ 11:15
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BRITISH expats are being urged to participate in a poll over taking dual or Spanish nationality.

Brexpats in Spain co-founder Anne Hernandez set up the survey after Theresa May’s ‘vacuous’ Brexit speech in Florence, Italy.

In the first 12 hours of the poll, nearly 200 people have said they would be happy taking joint nationality if it were available, while over 100 would not worry about becoming Spanish.

The poll results will be sent to the UK and Spanish governments, with dual nationality currently not available for British residents in Spain.

May’s speech has attracted criticism for not addressing adequately the rights of 1.2 million British citizens living in the EU, including 300,000 in Spain.

“I decided to set up the poll after May’s speech, which told us nothing,” Hernandez told the Olive Press.

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SURVEY: Expat poll results to be presented to Spanish and UK governments

“Her speech showed how unimportant we are. We do not seem to count for anything.”

In the first 12 hours of polling, 174 people said they would happily apply for dual nationality if they fit the criteria and 101 said they would take Spanish citizenship.

Dual nationality was recently given to 4,000 descendants of Spain’s expelled Sephardic Jewish community as well as surviving International Brigade members.

So, campaigners are urging the Spanish government to do the same for expats in Spain, who remain in limbo due to Brexit’s uncertainties.

Madrid-based Guardian journalist and dual-nationality campaigner Giles Tremlett told the Olive Press that a draft law over dual nationality for Brits based in Spain will be presented to politicians soon.

“I think the best way forward for the moment is to argue that we should be treated as a ‘special case’, like Sephardic Jews or International Brigaders, and for the initiative to come from Spanish and British civil society groups in Spain,” he said.

Brexpats in Spain have also called for the subject of expats’ rights in the EU and UK to be removed completely from Brexit negotiations.

“Complete status quo should be confirmed for those who have been resident in an EU country for a significant period,” a spokesperson said.

The survey, which can be accessed on the Brexpats in Spain Facebook page, is open until Sunday.

A spokesperson from the UK government’s Department for Exiting the EU told the Olive Press: “She [Theresa May] gave commitments that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU will be set out in our agreement on citizens’ rights and this will be fully incorporated into UK law, making sure the UK courts can refer directly to the agreement.

“All of these are reciprocal, they work for Brits in the EU and the EU27 in the UK.”

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