BRITISH CONSUL Sarah-Jane Morris visited nine towns in the Alicante province over the past month to update British nationals on the progress of the citizens’ rights part of the Brexit negotiations and to answer questions.
Mrs Morris also reminded British nationals of the benefits of registering as a resident in Spain, both with the national police (“residencia”) and with their local town hall (“padron”).
Attendance across the towns was high, the Consul having reached nearly 2000 people. Representatives of the Brexpats in Spain pressure group were also on the panel at the meetings, as were local mayors and councillors.
Various topics came up during the question and answer sessions, especially regarding healthcare, pensions and residency rights and obligations. On residency rights, all speakers were united in encouraging British nationals to check they are properly registered in Spain, and to get registered if they haven’t already done so.
Consul Sarah-Jane Morris said, “I would advise anyone who is concerned about Brexit to make sure they always go to the original source for information. Everything that has been discussed and agreed so far can be found on the gov.uk website – it’s easy to check and sign up for email alerts.
“I also picked up that a lot of people are still not clear about their residency status in Spain in terms of renewing their residency and padron. As I said in the meetings, I will follow this up with the relevant local authorities and we will continue to publish up-to-date accurate information on our gov.uk website and Brits in Spain Facebook page.”
The number of British people registered on the padron, the local register held by the town halls which is used to allocate funding from central government, has been in decline over the past few years.
Mrs Morris stated that despite the one million homes in Spain owned by British citizens, less than 300,000 are registered on the padron nationally. Town hall representatives welcomed attendees at the meetings to come and check their registration status at their local town hall office.
The Consul finished the meetings by reminding people to check for updates about the Brexit negotiations from the official sources – www.gov.uk/world/brexit.
Videos and interviews recorded at the recent meetings will soon be posted on the Brits in Spain Facebook page.