BYE BYE: Simon Manley’s farewell speech praised British expats

BRITISH Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley has used his farewell speech to praise the work of British expats.

The 51-year-old diplomat praised the hard work of Brits abroad in everything from charities to fighting forest fires.

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He also described the ‘honour to represent Queen and country’ and wished Brits ‘continued health and happiness’.

But his parting words also carried a Brexit warning for British expats in Spain.

ALL SMILES: The outgoing ambassador reflects on his time in the job

“Make sure you, your friends and family are properly registered as residents,” said the dad-of-three.

“And check on your neighbours – make sure they are registered too.”

Manley’s highlights include, a cooking lesson with legendary Spanish chef David Muñoz, as well as hosting numerous dignitaries in Spain, like former Labour leader Harriet Harman and new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

After taking up his post in 2013, Manley is set to be replaced by Hugh Elliott on Monday August 19.

FRESH BLOOD: The new man in Madrid will be Hugh Elliot

Oxford graduate Elliott, a former Brexit communications director, will help to steer the UK through its departure from the EU.

He had previously said: “It will be a pride and a pleasure to represent the United Kingdom in Spain and take over next summer.”

Read Simon Manley’s farewell letter in full:

“I leave my almost six years as HMA to Spain with a wealth of wonderful memories of this fantastic country.
“I understand why so many UK Nationals choose to live and visit here.
“One of the tremendous privileges of this job has been to meet many of you, the British Nationals involved in your communities in so many different ways.
“Those of you volunteering with organisations like Cruz Roja, Age Concern and so many more; helping fight forest fires in Javea or looking after British cemeteries; those raising funds to help those in need; young people volunteering with organisations like Street Angels in Mallorca, helping to look after British visitors to the island or British councillors serving their local communities.
“The footprint of British education relies on UK Nationals living and working here, as teachers and assistants in the many British schools and language academies.
“UK Nationals are also working in businesses across Spain – from bars and restaurants on the costas to the Big Five accountancy firms.
“It has been an honour to represent Queen and country and to serve you, the UK nationals living here.
“If I have one final message as we leave the EU, it is to make sure you, your friends and family are properly registered as residents.
“And check on your neighbours – make sure they are registered too.
“I wish you all continued health and happiness in your lives here in Spain.”

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