British Expats Issued With Brexit Warning By Ambassador Hugh Elliott Spain News

With just 17 days to go before the UK exits the European Union, British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott has issued a warning to expats living in Spain.

In his message via the British Embassy’s Facebook page, Elliott wished Brits a Happy New year, but stressed that with Brexit just days away, it was vital that British Citizens registered themselves with the Spanish authorities.

Elliott went on to say that the Withdrawal agreement which was approved by Parliament on 9 January is now being scrutinised by the House of Lords. Once any amendments have been made, it will then be given ‘Royal Assent’ at which time it will become law in the UK.

He went on to say that on the 29 January, the European Union will get to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement and will ratify the deal with a simple majority.

Elliott asserted that there were no ‘substantive changes’ to the rights of British citizens within the new Withdrawal Agreement, which was negotiated by PM, Boris Johnson.

As long as Brits are registered with the Spanish authorities by the 31 December 2020, they will continue to enjoy the existing benefits of becoming legally resident in Spain.

He said, “For British Nationals in Spain, the Withdrawal Agreement contains really important guarantees for you on citizens’ rights, such as the right to continue to live and work in Spain. Those rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Spain, provided that you are registered as a resident by 31 December 2020.

That’s why it is so important to ensure that you, your family, your friends and indeed your neighbours are all correctly registered as resident here. If you are not sure whether you are or don’t know what to do next, have a look at this video from our consular advisor which takes you through the process, and explains the differences between the padron, NIE and residencia.

The Ambassador also pointed out there were still plenty of appointments in most of the Spanish provinces and that expats had to make it their “New Year’s Resolution” to it done as soon as possible.

Elliott also added that Brits living in Spain cannot currently apply for the new TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero - foreigners identity card) until the UK leaves the EU.

The British Embassy has carried out a series of pop-up outreach events across the country where Brits can ask any questions they still have about Brexit. You can see the current list of planned dates at the following page

We have written a number of guides that you can read such as getting residency in Spain along with registering yourself on your town hall’s padron and getting NIE.