12 Dec, 2019 @ 18:22
1 min read

Expats’ rights campaigner slams UK politicians for ignoring British residents in Spain as Britons go to polls

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CRUNCH TIME: Corbyn (top left) Johnson (bottom left) and Anne Hernandez (right)

A CAMPAIGNER for the rights of British residents in Spain has hit out at the lack of attention expats have been given during the election campaign, as the UK heads to the polls.

Anne Hernandez of Brexpats said expats’ post-Brexit rights had ‘absolutely not’ been given the attention they deserve throughout the campaign.

“Even British residents in the UK don’t know how it affects us,” she said.

“We [in Spain] are at least thinking of the dramas in the UK.” 

A quarter of a million Britons live in Spain, but Herandez says expats still lack certainty on issues such as healthcare, pensions and the rights of family in the event of the UK leaving the EU.

She said most expats she had spoken to were voting tactically to unseat Conservative MPs.

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VOTING: Polling booths close at 10pm in the UK

Boris Johnson’s party has vowed to bring its withdrawal agreement back before parliament prior to the end of the year, if it wins the election. It also plans to end freedom of movement

“The best possible outcome is that Boris is gone and even better if he lost Uxbridge,” she said. 

“I don’t think he cares if there’s a deal or no deal.”

Hernandez, who can no longer vote in the UK elections having lived in Spain for 15 years, said she was in favour of revoking Brexit in principal, but acknowledged this was impossible in practice. 

“I think there would be a civil war in the UK if it were revoked,” she said. 

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to revoke article 50, in effect cancelling Brexit. Labour meanwhile have said they will renegotiate a Brexit deal and put it to a second referendum alongside a remain option. 

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QUEUES: People line up to vote in Brixton

Hernandez added that many expats in Spain remain confused and fearful of the impact that Brexit may have on their lives. 

“Our future in the EU hinges on this election. Some have said ‘I am so suicidal,’ particularly some of the elederly.

“When I’ve been accompanying people to collect their residencias even the police officers have said ‘it’s not a very good day for you.’”

Polling booths close at 10pm in the UK.

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