FOREIGN Secretary Dominic Raab has pledged to ensure expats in Spain’s ‘needs are met’ in an open letter.
Uncertainty over Brexit has many expats concerned, not least the 300,000 living in Spain.
But Raab has tried to cool fears, saying the UK government is doing everything they can to ensure a smooth transition.
“No matter the terms of our departure from the EU, you will continue to be able to live and work in Spain.
“But to make sure your daily needs are met, there are some steps you must take to get ready for Brexit on 31 October.
“In Government, we are doing our bit to get ready for Brexit, too. We are making sure that on 1 November, every British national living in Spain can go on living, working, studying and accessing healthcare.
“We are working with the Spanish authorities to make processes as smooth and straightforward as possible, whether you’re applying for residency or a new driving licence.
“We are working hard to reach a deal with the EU. But even if the UK leaves without a deal, the UK and Spain have each taken steps to ensure you will be able to continue accessing healthcare in Spain, exactly as you do now, until at least 31 December 2020 if you are an S1 form holder.
“Of course, every circumstance is unique. And we know that some British people might need some extra support during this transition.
“We want to support those who may find it harder to complete all the paperwork – like pensioners or disabled people, those living in remote areas, and those needing assistance with language translation or interpretation.The Foreign Office has allocated an extra £3 million for charities and other voluntary organisations to help these people keep their rights and access to services in the EU.
“You should be checking in regularly with the Embassy in Madrid or local consulates in Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Las Palmas, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, for information on upcoming local ‘question and answer’ sessions, town hall meetings and information stands in supermarkets and on high streets.
“And by now, you should also be seeing one of the largest information campaigns in British history, which launched with advice in newspapers and on billboards, encouraging people across the UK and Europe to Get Ready for Brexit.
“This is an exciting time, but also one of unprecedented change. We’re getting ready for Brexit on 31 October, and I would urge you to do the same.”