REPRESENTATIVES of campaign groups for British nationals in Spain have urged for ‘greater clarity’ after meeting with the UK’s Brexit Secretary.
John Carrivick, vice-president of EuroCitizens, said ‘less gung-ho optimism’ was needed from Stephen Barclay over crucial issues like rights to ‘benefits’ and ‘healthcare’.
Barclay met with Carrivick, as well as representatives from Brexpats in Spain and ECREU, at the British Embassy in Madrid before flying to Brussels.
“Why is the uprating of pensions within the exclusive gift of the UK government being made subject to reciprocity, and thereby placing it at risk?” Carrivick told the Olive Press.
President of Brexpats in Spain, Anne Hernandez, said: “It seemed to us the buzzword of Mr Barclay was ‘intention’ – but we don’t want intention, we want action.”
Hernandez said it was the first time a Brexit Secretary had spoken with her, despite ‘numerous’ conversations with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and EU Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt.
In a video message after the meeting, Barclay affirmed the government’s commitment to ‘safeguard citizens’ rights’.
It comes as Barclay is locked in talks with the EU over amendments to Theresa May’s withdrawal deal ‘minus’ the controversial Irish backstop, according to statements made during the meeting.