EXCLUSIVE: British Consul and her team address Alicante town on Brexit

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INFORMATION: British Consul Sarah-Jane Morris (centre) with other members of the British Consulate in Alicante and Richard Hill from Brexpats in Spain (second from right) ©EWN Media Group

AROUND 200 residents of Urbanisation La Marina came along to one of a series of meetings along the Costa Blanca organised by the British Consul to gain a little more information on how Brexit is likely to affect them in the future.

British Consul for Alicante Sarah-Jane Morris was welcomed by local councillor Paulino Herrero, along with the Mayor of San Fulgencio Carlos Ramirez who was greeted with a series of boos and jeers from a small number who took this public opportunity to express their views on his continuing tenure in the post.

Also on the top table was Richard Hill from the Brexpats in Spain organisation, and between him and Sarah-Jane Morris, they explained the current state of play in the Brexit negotiations, concentrating on those aspects that would most likely apply to UK citizens living in the EU.

“For those wishing to continue to be resident in Spain after the UK leave the EU, they should ensure that they are registered on the local padrón and to take up formal residency of the country,” said the British Consul, reiterating the advice given since the 2016 Referendum. “People should also continue to look at the official sources of information on all aspects of Brexit and that’s on the gov.uk website,” she continued. “If it’s not listed on there, then it’s not been agreed.”

Most of those present were retirees and so were relieved to hear the British Consul state that those living legally in Spain at the time the UK leaves the EU would not have their current healthcare arrangements affected.   They would also continue to receive any annual state pension increases.

Richard Hill from Brexpats in Spain explained that one of their roles is to “dispel the propaganda and misinformation that is nothing more than scaremongering.” He said that they are “fighting for the fairest deal for all UK citizens living in the EU, without trying the reverse the decision taken in June 2016.”

They are focusing much of their current campaign aiming to get the accords on healthcare arrangements and pension increases that have already been part of the Brexit negotiations, ring-fenced in the event of a future ‘no-deal’ scenario.

During the question and answer session that followed, the subject of work permits post Brexit was raised.   Sarah-Jane Morris said that if they satisfied the residency conditions of the withdrawal agreement – legally living in Spain on the date the UK leaves the EU – then the understanding is that no work permits would be needed. The situation may be different for those coming to work in the EU after Brexit.

With almost as many UK citizens living in San Fulgencio as there are Spanish, the subject of future voting rights was raised. As things stand, UK citizens will not be allowed to vote at the next May 2019 municipal elections unless there is a bilateral agreement between the UK and Spain or comes within any agreed transition period…which hasn’t been agreed as yet.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. There are 490,000 Pensioners living in the EEA who receive a UK State Pension. By virtue of the fact that they live in the EEA, they also receive the annual increase to their UK State Pension. However, once the UK leaves the EU, there is no legal obligation on the Uzk Government to continue to uprate these pensions. Meanwhile, there are 550,000 UK pensioners living in 120 countries (many of which are Commonwealth countries) who have never received an increase to their UK State Pension – their pension is “frozen” for ever. Some of these pensioners are receiving as little as £20 per week. Could you live on that?
    As part of the Brexit negotiations, the UK government has said that they will continue to uprate the State Pension in EEA countries post Brexit. This raises the question – Why them and not us? There are a number of groups lobbying the government asking them to treat all overseas UK pensioners the same – give them all the annual increase.
    If you would like to help us in our campaign against the UK government, please join the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners at http://www.britishpensions.com. It only costs CAD 25 per year. For that, you will get a quarterly magazine, Justice, electronically, and emails keeping you up to date on this important pensions issue.
    We are very happy for all UK pensioners living in the EEA who will continue to receive the annual increase, and we hope to have the same privilege soon…..

  2. “They would also continue to receive any annual state pension increases.” And so you should as should every one who has paid mandatory NI contributions. Can those who are victims of the frozen state pension scandal now rely on those who are not frozen to support them in ending this injustice? For decades the 4%, who never get annual increases, have been fighting for justice alone because the 96% either do not know about this theft by the UK government or have the “I’m alright Jack” mentality. It is way past time we all stood together and demand that our public servants do the right thing and end freezing the state pensions of the 4% based on nothing but where they happen to live in retirement. ALL have paid for their pensions under the same terms as everyone else and where they live is irrelevant.

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