STRONG WORDS: British Ambassador to Spain told a packed crowd of British expats to get residency before Brexit

BRITISH Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley has used a speech on the Costa del Sol to reassure British expats worried about Brexit.

The British diplomat spoke at the fourth Brexit seminar in Manilva on Thursday, where he encouraged expats to get residency.

“There is nothing more important than that green piece of paper. It is the access point for getting all services in Spain,” he said at the packed Manilva Town hall building.

PACKED: Around 200 people attended the Manilva Town Hall meeting

Benefits of Spanish residency include getting a permanent NIE number, easier access to healthcare, as well as a more secure form of ID.

Manley spoke to a crowd of 200 people, as he outlined the various scenarios that the UK may leave the European Union in.

Among the other speakers at the event were Mayor of Manilva, Mario Jimenez, Councillor of Manilva, Dean Tyler Shelton and Myra Azzopardi, of the Citizens Advice Bureau Spain.

ADVICE: Myra Azzopardi (right) of the Citizens Advice Bureau Spain

Azzopardi said: “A lot of people are contacting us desperately to say they can’t get an appointment with their local police station to get registered.

“You have to go local and keep trying.”

British expat Norman Mather, 68, who lives in Estepona, attended the meeting with his wife Veronica, 59.

EXPAT: Brit abroad Norman Mather who came to the meeting for ‘answers’

He told the Olive Press: “The government has been negligent, there has not been enough information for expats.”

The retired former headteacher, originally from Kent, added: “I came here for answers, but at the moment I don’t think they can actually tell us anything.

“At the moment I don’t have a lot of faith in any of the politicians.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday for last minute changes to her Brexit deal.

The UK is set to leave the European on March 29.

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