THE UK Ambassador to Spain has issued a message for British expats in Spain.
Hugh Elliott wished British nationals from Andalucia to Asturias a Happy New Year, but also reminded them to ‘get registered’.
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Madrid’s top mandarin said: “As you know, the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 January and we are on course to leave with a deal, so I wanted to explain some of the jargon around the parliamentary process and, crucially, what all of this means for British nationals living in Spain.”
He then reiterated how there are no substantial changes to citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement secured under Boris Johnson in October.
Otherwise known as the ‘Brexit deal’, the Withdrawal Agreement is currently being debated by the House of Lords.
It will then be given ‘Royal Assent’, meaning it will become enshrined in UK law.
The EU is also set to vote on the deal on January 29, meaning that the UK is set to leave the 28-member bloc on January 31.
Elliott stressed that Brits in Spain will continue to benefit from citizens’ rights, for as long as they are in Spain, provided that they are ‘registered as a resident by December 31 2020.’
Citizens’ rights include the continuation of healthcare and uprating of pensions, and the right to live and work in Spain.
“That’s why it is so important to ensure that you, your family, your friends and indeed your neighbours are all correctly registered as residents here,” he added.
“You have time and there are plenty of appointments in most provinces, but do make it a New Year’s Resolution to get it done as soon as you can!”
He added that Brits in Spain cannot apply for a TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero or foreigner’s identity card) until after the UK leaves the EU.
The British Embassy are also doing outreach events in Benidorm, Lanzarote and Murcia soon, as well as a Facebook live session on January 31.