BRITS living in Spain will lose their rights if the UK government doesn’t protect the rights of Spanish people living in the UK, Spain’s foreign minister has said.
Spain’s government has already passed legislation protecting the rights of Brits residing in the country, but Boris Johnson’s government have yet to do the same for Spaniards living in the UK.
Now Spain’s foreign minister, Josep Borrel, has warned the UK government that rights for British residents will be stripped back if the UK doesn’t offer the same protections to Spanish people in the UK.
The future of the 365,967 Brits living in Spain will now depend on how the 180,000 Spaniards living in the UK are treated by the British government.
Legislation passed by the Spanish government earlier this year protected Brits’ rights in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The legislation covered the recognition of university degrees and driving licenses, healthcare coverage and work permits.
However, these protections may now be in jeopardy if the UK government doesn’t improve its offer to Spanish citizens.
Spain’s minister for the EU, Luis Marco Aguiriano, said: “Our royal decree will ensure that everything remains the same in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
“But for that, reciprocity is necessary. And reciprocity cannot be guaranteed in half-measures – it is either there, or it isn’t.”
86,400 Spaniards have applied for permanent residency in the UK since August 2016.