THE OLIVE PRESS is campaigning for a U-turn on rules which, since May 1, mean anyone with a British driving licence who has lived in Spain for longer than six months – and who did not manage to swap their licence for a Spanish one in time – is banned from driving. 

The UK’s ambassador to Spain posted a message on the Brits in Spain Facebook page at the start of the Jubilee weekend.

“I know those celebrations won’t be the same for many of you, because of your current inability to drive and the stress and all the inconvenience that this is causing you. And I also want to acknowledge that many of you find these updates frustrating,” he acknowledged.

“Unfortunately, I simply can’t go into lots of detail or give a running commentary of what is an ongoing negotiation, but I assure you we are working on this everyday. We are genuinely making progress.”

The ambassador said that the issue of data sharing – the sharing between the UK and Spain of driver details which has been one of the key sticking points in negotiations – is mainly to do with those visiting Spain and not those who are resident. 

“On this point we are able to resolve this issue,” he said.

Elliott also said that the British government has asked Spain to reinstate the interim measures that were temporarily allowing Brits to drive on UK licences post Brexit.

“The fact is that they haven’t agreed to it,” he said.

In much more positive news however, he said that an agreement had been reached on a clause that will permit everyone back on the road from the moment an agreement is signed for a period of up to six months to allow people time to once again try and exchange their licences. 

He declined to give an exact time frame of when an agreement might be signed but said he expected it to take a matter of ‘weeks rather than months.’

“There are no cast iron guarantees, but I am confident we will reach an agreement,” he said.

But with many stranded in rural areas, weeks may be too far away.

We urge our readers to sign the parliamentary petition to force a debate in the House of Commons HERE.

Have you been affected by this issue? Get in touch at newsdesk@theolivepress.es

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