EXPATS in Spain could be hammered by the British government’s approach to EU citizens, a leaked document suggests.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted that the aggressive approach of the Tory Party is putting ‘families, jobs and homes in the balance’ and showing the ‘human cost’ of Brexit.
He urged the government to act swiftly to end migrants and expats uncertainty and guarantee their rights to remain in their countries post-Brexit.
“There must be an end to this Hunger Games approach to Brexit negotiations, which gives no consideration to EU nationals in our country or British nationals living abroad,” Corbyn said.
He was reacting to a report drawn up by the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee, warning that the apparent reticence to give Europeans permanent residence status in the UK could lead to a backlash abroad.
“The fact that it appears to be particularly difficult for foreign nationals, even if married to UK nationals or born in the UK to acquire permanent residence status or British nationality may colour member states’ approach to this matter,” stated the report.
The document also pointed out it could now be left up to individual member states to decide if British nationals can live in their country.
Since the June 23 vote, there has been an almost 50% rise in EU citizens applying for permanent residency in the UK, according to the Guardian, that was leaked the report.
There has also been an apparent drift of expats back to the UK, with a rise in home sales reported by the official government body in Malaga that monitors property sales.
The leak comes after the UK’s ambassador to Spain Simon Manley highlighted the economic benefit of expats to Spain.
The commercial relationship between the two countries is worth some €46 billion, he said, with a €10 billion trade surplus to Spain and €1 billion to Andalucia.
Manley told the Olive Press: “From Prime Minister Rajoy down through to regional government presidents and many city mayor all of them tell me they value the presence of Britons in Spain.”
He hinted that Spain might make a separate bilateral arrangement with the UK over expats in both countries.
And during a meeting between Rajoy and Theresa May last month, it is believed the pair, discussed an amicable arrangement for both countries.
Meanwhile, campaign group Bremain In Spain have backed demands for Brits to be issued with EU passports by Brussels after Brexit.
If their petition gains one million signatures from at least seven EU countries, proposed legislation will be put before the European Parliament.
Next Friday, The Guardian’s Madrid-based correspondent Giles Tremlett will address a Brexpats In Spain discussion group in La Cala de Mijas.