2 Jun, 2016 @ 09:39
1 min read

British expats could lose right to live and work in Spain after Brexit vote, Rajoy warns

Mariano Rajoy  e

BRITISH expats could lose the right to live and work in Spain in the event of a Brexit, Mariano Rajoy has warned.

Spain’s acting prime minister made the claim ahead of the June 23 referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

RAJOY: Wants to end working day at 6pm
RAJOY: Brits couldn’t live in Spain

More than 400,000 Britons live and work in Spain, making it Europe’s most popular expat destination.

But many expats fear what would happen to their pension value and healthcare access in the event of a Brexit vote.

Rajoy said: “Leaving the European Union would mean that British citizens would lose their right to move freely, work and do business within the largest economic area, the largest market in the world.

“Over 100,000 Spanish citizens work and live in the United Kingdom. Over 400,000 British citizens work and live in Spain.

“If the United Kingdom left the European Union, it would be very negative for everyone and from every perspective.”


Joe Duggan (Reporter)

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  1. Unelected Rajoy better get off his high horse and stop threatening the UK. Trust me Spain, you have a lot more to lose than the UK on this issue. In the event of a trade war it will not end well for you.

  2. Rajoy is not only crazy he is a liar.

    There are well over 100,000 Spanish ‘working’ in the UK and a lot signing on as well.

    There are at least 400,000 British ‘living’ in Spain. At the most 20,000 actually ‘working’ in Spain. The overwhelming majority are retired. I don’t know of any that are signing on.

    Some of the Spanish in the UK are doing jobs that Brits should be trained for but the majority are’nt they are doing low or no skill work.

    So Rajoy let’s do a swap – you pay 2009 prices for British owned properties, after all those able to sell are taxed at 2009 prices. All these retired Brits will then leave. This will collapse a lot of communities in Andalucia/Murcia/Cataluyna. It’s true your regional health systems will have less work but also less profit, since they ramp up the costs which are born by the UK.

    You will have at least 120,000 more Spanish claiming Social Security. Rajoy this may come as a surprise to you but your nasty hubris is going to cost Spain an awful lot of money.

    Then you threaten us that we will lose the right to do business in the EU – are you sure you want to do this tonto?

    We will buy no more chemical laden veg and fruit, olive oil, no more wine or cars made in Spain and we will close down all direct flights to the costas. Plasticland will halve in size and your Med tourist business will collapse by over 60%. Which means that Murcia,Andalucia and part of Cataluyna economies will collapse and of course no more fishing in the north Atlantic waters.

    I repeat are you sure you really want to do this – tonto.

  3. Why would anyone assume we are “safe” here in Spain ? The economy, trade and gibratarian relations could all fly out of the window if the Spanish Government take it personally. And why wouldn’t they ? Most of the other countries would view us badly if we are the key that breaks up the club. Vote in

  4. Your quite right to call it a club, that is exactly what it is. A club which exists to benefit it’s members only and it’s members are big business – it does not and was never meant to benefit ordinary Europeans.

    But in fact it is supposed to be a ‘union’ of equals. Not a club dominated by Germany with Germany’s bitch, France desperately clinging on to it’s master’s coat tails.

    This ‘club’ is so corrupt it allows a few States to operate industrial scale tax fraud schemes that lose billions and billions for other States. Now it has allowed Bayer a German company to buy the infamous Monsanto, notorious for GM seeds and who blackmail little farmers in the third world into buying their dubious products.

    So now the EU countries will all be blackmailed as well and idiots still think that TTIP will be rejected, If the brainwashed Remainers get their way, the day after, TTIP will become law. Then the Brussels cabal will create ‘the European army’. It will not be used against the bogeyman, Russia but against those Europeans who resist Big Brother, they will be referred to by the cabal as ‘terrorists’. Orwell was so right and 1984 was a long time ago

  5. Horrible little man, without tourism and expat property sales you are nothing, dont bite the hand that feeds you.
    I used to live on the coast for 12 years but have returned to the uk for 5 years now, we came over last week and I realised what a dump the cost del sol has become, wanted to come back to spain
    to live but have now changed my mind. adios spain

    • The Costa Del Sol is NOT Spain Ms. Muck. Hire a car, check the Costa De La Luz, Las Alpujarras, Granada, Valencia, (on second thoughts, NOT Valencia, that’s mine!) Cadaques, Roses, L’Escala, Girona, Figueras, The “Dali Triangle” is magic. Don’t give up on Spain, (providing Brexit fails of course) but DO kick that bottom bit into touch.

    • Spain did that, not the tourists. Spain was not forced to build high-rises along the coast, it did so to profit from the tourism boom. It piled on the flights, built thousands of hotels and high-rises, and the end result can be seen today.

  6. ladymuck,
    take a look at the NW. No it does’nt have the same amount of sun, nor does it have the ruined coast. The northern rias of Galicia are something else and Cantabria is virtually sub-tropical. The wines and food of the NW are far better and very different from the south.

    All the beaches are white sand and the water is clean if a bit colder than the Med, definitely worth a visit.

  7. Chas, it was’nt the foreigners it was the Spanish who destroyed their coasts. It was the Spanish who sold their land and their mayors and other spivs who completely overbuilt and rubbish at that, surprised at your comment.

  8. Load of absolute BULL. Everyone in Europe is protected under “acquired rights” Vienna convention. Existing residents are NOT affected in any way if UK leaves the EU. If the expats were to leave Spain, it would sink quicker than the Titanic. Healthcare wouldn’t be affected either as ALL official residents (with a residencia card) have full FREE access to the health system in Spain. Health is non contributory and is funded solely by IVA tax.

    • What are you talking about? Existing British residents will most certainly be affected – acquired rights or not! I think you’d better do some brushing up on Spanish law with regard to medical treatment for Spanish citizens for example – you just might be in for a big surprise.

  9. Gary,
    absolutely true but the Remain camp with Project Fear don’t want voters who live in the EU to know that.

    EU health rules – EU expats living in other EU countries have all health treatment costs paid for by their respective countries.

    • Correct, and these health rules were reciprocal agreements between two member states and will either stay in place, or will have to be renegotiated (or not) if the UK leaves the EU. No one yet knows if those agreements and rights will stay or not.

      • Actually, I need to correct my “correct”. As an expat, you are entitled to free state healthcare if you are one of the following:

        a) resident in Spain and work in employment or self-employment and pay social security contributions;
        b) resident in Spain and receiving certain state benefits;
        c) resident in Spain and recently divorced or separated from a partner registered with social security;
        d) a child resident in Spain;
        e) a pregnant woman who is resident in Spain;
        f) under 26 and studying in Spain;
        g) a state pensioner;
        h) staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card.

        So the statement from Gary – “ALL official residents (with a residencia card) have full FREE access to the health system in Spain” is wrong. Residency, by itself, does not entitle you to free access to the Spanish healthcare system. The working-age expat has to pay in, and only expat retirees are entitled to free healthcare in Spain. Different people have different experiences as the laws are interpreted differently, but these are the official rules.

        • Well done for bringing this to everyone’s attention Fred. Spanish residence alone does not entitle you to free healthcare in Spain if you are of working age, you have to pay into their social security system to be eligible for free healthcare. Most simply take out private health insurance.

          It is not a level playing field and the UK rules are much more relaxed i.e. residency based (just an address and national insurance number is enough to sign up with a GP) and it is not contribution based as it is in other EU member states. That said, I believe the UK system is to be tightened up in the future.

          • If the UK system can be tightened up there would be no need to leave the EU. That’s the irony of Brexit; the NHS is abused by non-EU patients much more then EU patients (£1.8 billion spent on non-EU patients as opposed to £300 million for EU patients). Brexit supporters needs to stop blaming the EU for issues that the UK should first resolve. Also ironic is that if Brexit occurs, the very first thing that has to be done is re-open negotiations with Europe to allow free movement of people, otherwise businesses cannot function. Doh!

        • Fred it’s not quite true what has been stated regarding a state pensioner resident in Spain receiving free medical, they still pay 10% towards medicines which is not refundable, not a lot I agree, but still a payment.

          • Bruno, it depends. My parents live in Mallorca for example and have not paid the 10% for medicines, but then some retirees I know in Andalucia have paid, and again some have not. These rules are implemented and applied so very different throughout Spain, but agree the 10% is still an extra payment when it is required.

  10. Chas, why are you blaming expats and tourists for turning part of Spain into a dump, can you explain this is more detail please? Which villages are you referring to?

    As Fred quite rightly points out, nobody forced Spain to adopt tourism as their main industry, it was their choice and they built the hideous coastal tower blocks, not the expats or tourists. It was they who decided to target the pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap market. You may think that Spain does not do tourism well (they are not very good at residential tourism for example) but that is a different issue altogether and again, not the fault of either the expat or the tourist.

    How do you suggest they replace or radically reform an entire industry? To nick a line, what else are they going to do, design cathedrals, compose violin concertos?

    • I was thinking not to cater to the yobs. But modern materialist so-called culture commoditizes everything. The yobs are the fuel. As they come like cockroaches, others, Spanish or foreign, are pushed out by the purveyors of microwavable paella and the low information foreigners who wouldn’t know the difference between good food and a pub lunch. Clearly, the problem is on both sides – but much of the ghastly complex investment now is global and not local Spanish. And its always easier to pull someone down than it is to elevate them – whether speaking of heights or good manners and civil tastes.

        • Civility and good manners has little or nothing to do with snobbery. The means to spread around money says nothing about who spends it. People with or without means everywhere can and do comport themselves well. The important issues are character and ability to control one’s own behaviour, something seriously lacking in many southern coastal towns. Indigenous population and those of us who don’t like loud, drunken, splashy materialist people and the effects on local culture are annoyed and we do criticize. Thats how change takes place.
          Yes, some few Spanish politicians are at fault, but not as many as the thousands of foreigners who revel in that kind of anti-social behaviour.

          • Behaviour is not policy. Spain facilitated the tourist boom, but it does not (cannot) control what type of people arrive. I still do not see the connection between policy making and being a certain type of foreigner. This issue is specifically about your statement that “expats and tourists converted nice villages into coastal dumps”. They did not. Spain did that. Spain owned the land, it sold it and developed parts of it, such as the CDS, for mass tourism. Nothing to do with anti-social behaviour of the visitors. Surprised you can’t see that Chas.

  11. 3 organizations so far have given the vote to “leave”.
    If the UK vote is “leave”, and Le Pen wins the French election with a mandate to leave the EU (forget her also leaving the Euro) do you think Germany will shoulder the cost of maintaining the financial burden of the EU with other bankrupt countries wishing to join, never mind the pigs. Now if the whole thing does collapse do you think the then singled countries will try and make agreements with the UK. If such a case the UK will move from being the 5th richest nation to possibly the 4th.

    As for Rajoy’s current gutless threat and attitude towards the UK if it’s an out vote, who is he, is he a World leader. a person of importance. (can’t even speak English). Does he realize that if he even tries to carry out this threat the devastation that the UK could impose on Spain would finish Spain. Return all Spaniards from the UK and stop all flights to Spain for starters, not forget the fishing rights and too many other things to mention.

    As Professor Minford the economist stated, if it’s an out vote other countries will try and make arrangements and agreements with the UK. Finances overrides governments, or should I say the EU click.

    Remember we are already in the EU and are not happy and if it’s as good as they say why have a referendum?.

  12. Policy caters to behaviour good or bad when money is involved. They are obviously connected. If our preference for a tranquil life, civility and a sense of a sustainable community is snobbery, so be it: then by your view, we are snobs. I have no problem with that. The problem is that mass cultural demands has dominated ordinary community values is many of these places. Life to many of us is more than ‘return on investment’.
    And who are you to impose your ‘life style’ on us? The argument cuts both ways.

    • And who are you chas, to refer to your fellow human beings as “yobs” and “cockroaches”? As you said “it’s always easier to pull someone down than elevate them” Rajoy for once, is being honest. He reveals another kind of prejudice, that of the true attitude of Spain to it’s guests.

  13. Bruno,
    Finances not only override politics – they control the self seeking monkeys/politicians as well.
    The Remainers almost always tell a lie, that Brexiters are anti-European, 99% are most definately not anti-European, they are only anti-EU.

    Europeans have always been welcomed in the UK, though I have to say that my German and Dutch friends have found the Welsh and Scots more welcoming, which they find bizarre because the Welsh and Scots are Celts and the ‘English’ are mostly of German and Dutch ancestry – life is strange.

    Many more Germans would speak out against the mass immigration to their country but they bear the burden dumped on them by a previous generation. There are many across Europe who hope the Brits have the balls to vote out.

    They, like the Brits are not anti other Europeans but they most definately are anti-EU. Brexit or not serious fundamental problems are like cancers eating away at whole rotten ediface of the EU

    • Stuart, agree with what you say and if I lived in the UK I would be voting to “leave” although all my voting life I had voted Conservative.
      This crowd of so called Conservatives seems to have lost the value of a free democratic country that had fought for the freedom of Europe costing many young brave lives just to be cuckolded by a few undemocratic leaders now running the EU and am appalled at the cohersion of Cameron wishing to adhere to their demands. His so called demands fell on deaf ears when he proudly states he fought for the British people in requesting the rights of nation states to control the laws of their country including the control of immigrants of all nations.
      If the demands of EU members (and others) wishing to migrate to the UK shows the dismal failure of the so called wonderful state the EU has become and perhaps could at least see the value of a free democratic country that Britain had first shown them. If Le Pen wins, their original “No” vote will be granted and perhaps we will see the original concept of the Common Market re-emerge, trading freely between states as Professor Munford the economist as stated.

  14. Fred, agree to a certain extent in what you say in your posting on 6 Jun, 2016 @ 22:44 at 22:44. But surely that’s what the Brexit campaign is all about and it’s due to the unrealistic measures of the EU that has caused this problem not the UK which now demands a referendum. If it’s that good, why have a referendum. Do you feel that remaining in the EU will solve the problems that are affecting Britain and it’s people or as the “Remainders” keep insisting in knowing what the “Leaves” future thoughts are out of the EU. What I would like to know is what are the future thoughts if we Remained” within the EU with other countries wishing to join and the galloping demands of multinational companies to the demise of the EU people. To both we do not really know but at least Britain would be a separate democratically voted country by it’s people. As a resident pensioner in Spain and being part of the EU does have it’s merits but would gladly give those merits up for the freedom of Britain. The once Common Market yes, the current EU no. Each to their own I suppose.

    • Bruno, the problems affecting the UK are complex and simply blaming Europe for everything is not logical. Illegal immigration is not caused by the EU (the UK is not even in Schengen), neither is the “magnet” affect that the UK creates for migrants – benefits, housing etc – all UK laws. The NHS spends 400% more on non-EU patients than EU patients. Is that the EU’s fault? Of course, the EU is not a silver bullet, it has lots of problems, but you can’t change something you’re not part of. I vote remain for my children and grandchildren, so that they will have equal opportunities in Europe in the future. I want to see a reformed EU. If the EU does not reform it will collapse, so it has to adapt.

      • Fred,
        I know there are problems affecting the UK that’s why there is a referendum and I do put the blame on Europe for the problems of illegal immigrants. Btw which countries did the cross to get to the UK, even trains laid on to assist. I thought the point of entry gave immigrants the right to claim refugee status, not pass the buck.
        As for the “magnet” you mentioned and of the welfare state it was not for illegal immigrants but for the British people.
        As for the NHS I agree. But I’m not sure if the British government are to blame but the administration of the hospitals in claiming which will be more stringent due to the referendum. Can you imagine if we did sign the schengen.
        We all want a reformed EU but it will not happen, Cameron tried, so we are back to square one. The only change that could happen is if Brexist and Le Pen wins then a collapse.

        • Bruno, most migrants have literally sailed and walked across Europe – it was no easy task and thousands have died. No trains were laid on directly to the UK from mainland Europe, so lets just make that point clear. Were there Eurostar trains with migrants going en-masse to St Pancras? No, course not. Migrants (a million or so) arrived in Greece and other places, and then crossed the Schengen zone to reach the countries that offered them shelter, but there was no open door to directly to the UK. You keep talking as if the EU lets the illegal immigrants walked straight into the UK automatically. The UK cannot blame the EU for its own illegal immigration levels when it has border controls in place to reject such arrivals. Because of the Dublin Accord, many migrants are mostly waiting on the northern French shores. Leave the EU and that problem could then quickly move to the south coast of the UK.

          Fact is, you cannot stop migration completely. When millions of people arrive on the external borders of Europe, they have to be processed and eventually moved, either to places where they are being given shelter, or back to their homeland. Asylum seekers are not “illegals”. If you or I were fleeing a war-torn country with our families, we would be using it too. Yes, the EU was unprepared for this scale of migration, and they also made major errors in security in not vetting all the migrants. No simple solution to this issue exists and the UK will find that working with the EU is the best long-term way to deal with this problem. Raising the UK drawbridge fixes nothing. More boats will arrive on UK shores, and of course more people will stow away and use fake passports. The fake passport issue is rarely mentioned, but it’s a massive problem, especially for Syrian passports, and again, it’s not the EU’s fault. Poland has recently stopped accepting refugees, and they are part of the EU. The UK needs to clamp down and stop the blame.

          “it [NHS] was not for illegal immigrants but for the British people.”

          I agree, but then blame the UK government. They are the ones that spent £1.8 billion on non-EU patients. The EU didn’t make them do that Bruno, and shifting the blame to the “hospital administration” still does not make it the EUs fault either. When doctors went on strike recently, it was against Jeremy Hunt’s government policies, remember. One thing we do agree on is that the NHS is unique, and therein is its problem – access to treatment for all. No one seems to talk about how the NHS can make rules to limit treatment to non British passport holders. Spain and others have done it, so why not the UK? Don’t say the EU won’t allow them – nonsense!

          • Fred,
            You are starting to lose the discussion regarding the travelling path of both legal and illegal immigrants. Stop writing words that I did not say, and yes let’s make it clear, I NEVER said that trains were laid on directly to the UK from mainland Europe, I said “even trains laid on to assist”. Get your facts straight before you write your own opinion, Ie-
            “France stops all Italian trains carrying north African immigrants”.
            “Italy infuriated the French last week by giving out temporary residence visas, allowing the immigrants to travel in the European Union”.
            I hope that clarifies your misquote. I think you will also find a map, if you look hard enough showing the routes of Immigrants passing over European soil to get to the UK, but what amazes me is that you are saying is “it’s UK fault”.
            As I said, I blame the EU in not controlling their borders better and if they did we would not have some of the problems the UK is currently facing..
            Fred, please do me a favour, we all know the plight regarding immigration of war torn countries and not all immigrants are classed as refugees, Btw, not forgetting the NHS, schools, housing, benefits etc etc.
            So please don’t give a lecture as though it’s something new, it goes back thousands of years.
            I won’t say anymore as it’s a pointless discussion but may I add that if you wish to have the final say in this discussion please do so as I’m not really bothered with what you think or say. Your an “Inner”, what more can I say and unfortunately as Stefanjo said, perhaps I have been here too long in which case I can’t really give my “leave” vote.

          • Bruno, I found your reply muddled on the point about trains being laid on. Who is arguing that migrants have not crossed Europe? We all know that. Your mistake is constantly saying that because migrants cross Europe, they are allowed to come straight into the UK. No such thing happens as the UK has border controls (and they are poor border controls as the UK cannot control illegal immigration). The migrant maps in the Daily Mail might show arrows in to the UK, but this does not mean the migrants are just walking across the channel lol. Is it really the EU’s fault that immigrants that are not allowed in to the UK get in to the UK?

            As I’ve said before, the EU are to be blamed for not controlling their outer borders, then again this is the biggest migrant movement since WWII and the problem is unprecedented. It is a pity that your latest posting ended in a rant. If you want to write on a blog, be prepared to debate.

    • Turkeys that vote for Christmas are bound to get stuffed Bruno…. There’s that question again. “Why have a referendum?” Because Cameron didn’t have the courage of the convictions he now displays, when confronted with Farage and his back-bench turncoats and short-term electoral advantage. (Lovely Tory trait)
      He is now stuck with the prospect of handing the reins of power to his rival buffoon Boris and the national purse to Gove. If THAT doesn’t make you shudder, you’ve been in Spain too long.
      Never mind, post Brexit, you may be glad to return. Or have to.

      • Stefanjo,
        In reply to your last paragraph what part did you not understand, shall repeat:-
        “As a resident pensioner in Spain and being part of the EU does have it’s merits but would gladly give those merits up for the freedom of Britain”.
        Why are you so edgy about Britain being a independent nation, surely you can’t be British, shall repeat, surely you can’t be British.

  15. Fred,
    Yet again you quote wrongly. I NEVER said “migrants are allowed to come straight into the UK”. They come from crossing Europe soil, not from the China seas or the North atlantic but the European soil to GET to the UK and if the European border controls were more active in controlling this influx then some of the problems the UK is currently facing would not occur.
    So basically what you are now saying is that the blame is purely the fault of the UK for not providing sufficient border controls. Fred, please do me a favour.

    P.S YOUR QUOTE. “As I’ve said before, the EU are to be blamed for not controlling their outer borders,”

    So what is it Fred, either it’s the UK’s fault or the EU’s. Actually Fred I’m getting confused with your “muddled” wordings.

    Second time I’ve given you the last word. Are you happy now.

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