THE BRITISH ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, has posted a new update on driving licence negotiations saying that there are “two outstanding points we are working on”.
“I know it’s frustrating to hear me say again that we are making progress, but we genuinely are, and I know it’s frustrating to hear that it’s our top priority, but it really is,” the diplomat said.
“I can only assure you that neither I nor the negotiating team take this matter lightly at all. We are completely committed to working with our Spanish colleagues to resolve this together as soon as possible. As soon as the two outstanding points we are working on have been resolved I will let you know.”
While he didn’t cite them by name, the ambassador also spoke about his meeting this week with a Facebook group titled “Invasion of the British Embassy in Madrid for the DL exchange issue,” which was set up to bring together those affected by the situation and now counts on nearly 700 members.
“I met with representatives with a group set up to help advance the interests of those affected by the situation,” Elliott said, “to hear from them on your behalf just how much the inability to drive is really impacting those of you who have been affected.”
The ambassador thanked them for travelling to meet with embassy staff as well as “the considered and powerful way in which they brought your issues to our attention”, in particular the “impact on people’s physical and mental health”.
Four victims of the driving licence situation, led by the Facebook group administrator Pascal Siegmund, met with Elliott on Tuesday of this week. “We had a constructive meeting and we felt we were listened to,” the group told The Olive Press after their meeting.
The group also pressed the ambassador on why there are no interim measures in place so that those affected by the situation could drive until a deal is struck. Elliott explained that this is “not in the gift of the UK government”, and added that if there were “any significant delay” from hereon in, he would ask the Spanish authorities about the issue once more.
- Members of ‘Invade British Embassy’ Facebook group meet with ambassador to discuss driving licence debacle
- UK licence holders left unable to drive in Spain organise to ‘invade the British embassy’