BRITISH embassy in Spain set to be overwhelmed by expats’ demands for help in the event of a no deal Brexit, suggests leaked government plans.
The secret Yellowhammer documents have suggested British citizens travelling to the EU will be limited to 90-day stays and subject to tighter passport checks.
The resulting ‘meltdown’ could see ‘an increase in consular inquiries, with more complex and time-consuming consular assistant cases for vulnerable UK nationals’.
A main element in the draft Brexit deal was protecting the rights of 3.5 million European citizens living in Britain, and over one million Brits in the bloc.
But in the worst case scenario expats will lose their EU citizenship, their ‘associated rights’ and access to services, which may include healthcare.
Though Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal planning, has said the document showed ‘absolutely the worst case’, and was an ‘old document.’
The Yellowhammer papers has also suggested Gibraltar is ‘under prepared’ for Britain leaving without a deal.
This includes claims that ‘the imposition of checks at [Gibraltar’s] border with Spain’ will disrupt the supply of goods, including food, medicine and the shipment of waste.
The 15,000 frontier workers who cross the border from Spain each day to work in Gibraltar can also expect to face delays of more than four hours for ‘at least a few months’ if the UK crashes out, the document says.
“Prolonged border delays over the longer term are likely to adversely impact Gibraltar’s economy,” it continues.
The Gibraltar Government has been quick to dismiss the claims as ‘out-of-date¡ and based on ‘planning for worst case scenarios.’
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “We do not want a no-deal Brexit. We think it is bad for Gibraltar. We are, nonetheless, now ready for it.
“The matters raised in the outdated Yellow Hammer leak have already been responsibly addressed in detail. Those are assumptions based on ‘worst case scenarios’ which we have come up with ourselves,” he continued.
“As a responsible Government, we plan for the worst case scenarios, even though we are confident they will not occur.”