Hard Brexit will have ‘innumerable repercussions’ for British expats and will see Spain’s GDP fall by up to €4 billion, leaked report says

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PASSPORTS: Expat group call for EU rights to be protected post-Brexit

A HARD Brexit could wreak havoc on Spain’s economy and will have ‘innumerable repercussions’ on Britons living in Spain, according to a leaked Madrid report.

The report, written by Spain’s Brexit commission, says Britain’s divorce from the union will leave Spain hugely exposed economically, and will have an impact on everything from fishing rights to the careers of Spanish footballers playing for UK clubs.

The bleak outlook says Spain’s GDP will fall by between €2 billion and €4 billion, force it to increase its EU budget contributions to €888 million and could result in some regions losing their European funding.

Theresa May will soon trigger Article 50
Theresa May will soon trigger Article 50

The hardest hit sectors, according to the report obtained by El Pais, will be tourism, food, pharmaceutical and automotive.

Exports are expected to fall by between €500 million and €1 billion.

It added that companies with large UK operations, like Banco Santander and Telefonica, would suffer if the pound weakened or if the UK’s rating was lowered.

The report goes on to say that while the UK will feel most of the effects of Brexit, the EU and Spain ‘will also suffer negative economic consequences.’

“The economic bonds between the UK and Spain are very tight,” it reads.

Migration policy will also be affected, with the report suggesting ‘innumerable repercussions’ for Britons living in the country.

They are the largest group of expats after Romanians and Moroccans.

The findings are based on information from different ministries in Spain and input from the Spanish embassy in London.

Spanish PM Rajoy
Spanish PM Rajoy

Spanish sources told El Pais: “The aim is to get some certainty for citizens and to help the [European] commission in its role as a negotiator.

“At the end of the process, the UK can’t find itself in a better situation outside the EU than in it. But if London doesn’t play dirty, the best thing would be not to do mutual damage.”

Mariano Rajoy said this morning that he hope things would ‘turn out well.’

“There’s no need to over-dramatise things,” he told reporters.

“What we need to do is have good negotiations. The UK wants good negotiations, so does Europe and so does Spain and I hope that things will turn out pretty well for everyone.”


Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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  1. Simple solution… just do a deal with the UK right now concerning our mutual expat citizens in both countries, I know the UK would and does welcome Spanish nationals, and I know that Spain welcomes UK expats with their spending power, and for the businesses they run, helping employment, and the economy; via taxation and seguridad social contributions.

    Likewise on joint trade deals between us.

    Only problem is that pesky EU Federal Government who want to control sovereign nations.

    • “…with their spending power, and for the businesses they run”
      There are 1.2 million brits living in Spain.
      The vast majority NO REGISTRADOS, who are a burden for the sistema de salud, the taxpayer etc.
      And the rest are…Retirees and Pensioners
      What “spending power” (LOL x 1 MILLION) are YOU talking about?

  2. John, it’s not “pesky EU Federal Government”, it’s the people of 26 EU member states that will not allow Spain to establish ‘special relations’ with the Brits. And Rajoy will not dare to go it alone as Spain is the biggest net payment reciever in the EU.
    Therefor, if Mrs. May wants favourable conditions for British expats in Spain, she must deal with the EU, not with Mr. Rajoy.
    But first of all: Mrs May has to declare Brexit to the EU, when will she do?

    • Wolfgang, perhaps you are well behind the times. Mrs May does not want favorable conditions for British expats only in Spain but favorable conditions for all “EU expats” living in the UK. I believe on the last count there are well over 3 million “EU expats” living in the UK. Do you not think they all deserve a certain amount of consideration in the forth coming exit discussions. As I said, perhaps you are not well informed regarding your last line. It had been known for some time that Mrs May will inform the EU of the Brexit date which would be during this week, in-fact it could be as early as Tuesday the 14/03/2017. BTW Wolfgang, there is such a thing as bilateral agreements. Just to keep you updated old chum. lol.

  3. Why does The Olive Press not use the correct term – immigrants?

    If a British person goes to live in Spain they are an ex-pat, but if a Spanish person goes to live in the UK they are an immigrant.

    We’re all immigrants.

  4. Well said Karen. Its a linguist holdover from colonial empire day which would falsely suggest that ‘expats’ do and ought to have special recognitions that citizens of other countries don’t have.

  5. It would appear that both Karren A and chas do not know the difference between a Immigrant, a Refugee, a Domicile and a Expat. If they do could they both explain. By the way Karren A, I have never heard of a Spaniard living in the UK being named an immigrant. The only ones are those that are not EU members. Please get your facts right.

  6. “It’s not that I believe expats should be expected to assimilate to their host countries’ norms. My point is simply that people who end up being called expats usually come from countries that have notoriously stringent standards for the behavior of those called immigrants. This is clearly a double standard, favoring people of privileged races, nationalities, or social classes. If it is acceptable for those we label expats to maintain their difference from their host countries, then it seems hypocritical to suggest that those we label immigrants should cast off their languages, cultures, and connections to their countries of origin.”

  7. “I believe that the use of two different words reveals two different sets of expectations for people who move to a new country, especially related to their obligations to their new homes. In particular, immigrants are often expected to sever ties with their countries of origin, to remain in the host country indefinitely (and not return to the country of origin), to discard their languages and cultures, and fully assimilate into the dominant host culture. When they instead remain isolated from the dominant culture, use their native languages, maintain their cultures, and travel back to their home countries, they are portrayed as not living up to their duties as immigrants, especially in wealthy countries like the US…. In contrast, expats are clearly not held to the same expectations. It is expected that expats will maintain ties with their countries of origin, often travelling back and forth between new and old homes. Many expats will not learn the language of the host country or at least not learn it well. They often avoid and remain ignorant of the foods, the traditions, and the people of the country they now live in. Instead, local governments and business people often have strong incentive to cater to elite expats’ desire for communities that are largely separate from the rest of the host country. All of this seems to be okay with everyone, since after all they’re expats, not immigrants.” https://linguisticpulse.com/2015/03/15/expats-and-immigrants-how-we-talk-about-human-migration/

  8. lol John you are of the typical paternalistic stereotype of middle aged english migrants in Spain.
    Spaniards are like cute little children for you, they’re immature and need your supervision and will never challenge your opinion.
    “I know that Spain welcomes UK expats with their spending power, and for the businesses they run, helping employment, and the economy; via taxation and seguridad social contributions”
    93% of Spaniards living in the UK are Millennials and university graduates, work hard, pay their taxes and due to their youth they rarely visit hospitals (they normally prefer -like you- their Autonomous region in Spain’s NHS when something is serious) and they’re all learn your language and care about integration.
    About the spending power you talk about, I guess you do not refer to the too old (over 65, that is. Surely a minority in your opinion) to work and therefore pay tax and seguridad social contributions with stipends to live on from pensions even lower (about 1000 euro) than the already low ones of Spaniards after the money left from what is left of the sale of their house in england. Find them in carrefours, mercadillos or eating 3 euro menus in chinese restaurants after their regular visit to the hospital (and the amount of medicines people that age require) local taxpayers fund.
    Have you heard about the people only living for 5 months and 29 days in Spain? Another …erm…”minority” who stops local ayuntamientos getting the right regional funding for their towns because there are officially thousands less people living there than they truly are therefore they do not need any more funding.
    Believe me, local young people and public servants in your town are well aware of that.
    Brexit will only fan these “exceptional” cases out by the rest of the EU.

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