What can British citizens in Spain do in preparation for Brexit? After the approval of the EU 27 in Brussels, and two long weeks of debate in the UK, Parliament is next to follow and decide the future of this withdrawal text of 585 pages.
The last-minute dust up over Gibraltar created another critical situation between Spain and the UK. We feared for a moment that the Anglo-Spanish relationship might be affected, despite strong links between the two countries. Remember that over 240,000 Brits are registered as living in Spain, according to the Spanish padron, whilst many others own a second house in Spain, or receive their in Spain, and millions visit each year as tourists. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Spanish people live in the UK.
It is in the best interest of both countries to ensure that this relationship continues to flourish, and we are confident that the existing treaties between Spain and UK, and the new ones with the EU, will ensure the protection of the status quo of those Britons living legally in Spain.
Right now we are still waiting to see how the UK Parliament will react to the EU deal, and if any changes are proposed, how the EU Partners will respond. The latest news is that the British Government has delayed asking Parliament to vote on the deal out of fear of a heavy defeat.
Being the only Spanish legal firm whose professionals are regulated by the Bar Council in London, and the Colegio de Abogados in Madrid, here at Del Canto Chambers we feel we must be cautious and prudent in voicing our opinions on Brexit. However, we also feel we must impress on our readers the importance of complying with Spanish residency regulations before Brexit, and always seek independent legal advice on your situation.
The golden rule is that UK residents in Spain should ensure that before the close of the year 2018 they have their Spanish home in order. The new situation, whatever the transitional period turns out to be, will almost certainly require anyone wanting to stay to have all the right documentation in place.
This is just a basic ABC of steps or documents to consider:
- Registration with the UK Consulate
- EU Social Security (blue) card
- Spanish NIE number
- Spanish driving licence and car registered with the town council
- Spanish council tax and electoral roll registration
- Taxes and insurances in order
- And even if not planning to die anytime soon, having an updated will.
We hope list is useful, and we will continue working to support a smooth Brexit, whatever happens in the next months.
We are ready to help anyone sort out their tax, wealth, and residency affairs in Spain. Please get in touch.
European Lawyer – Abogado
Del Canto Chambers