With the transition period of the Withdrawal Agreement almost over, and the reality of Brexit just around the corner in the New Year, it doesn’t look like British residents in Spain will do badly out of Brexit, regardless of whether there is a deal or not at the last minute.
The Withdrawal Agreement has already established that all Britons and their family members who were lawfully resident at the date of the UK’s withdrawal on the 31st of January 2020 can stay under the same conditions that existed before Brexit.
As the Brexit section of La Moncloa’s website (Office of the Spanish President) explains, “All UK nationals and their family members who are third-country nationals resident in Spain before the end of the transition period will maintain in perpetuity their rights arising from the application of EU Law.”
After Brexit we will be able to move to other EU states, a few restrictions notwithstanding, and can travel freely in the Schengen area for a period of 90 days in any 180 days period, not including time spent in Spain. There are no restrictions on travel and stays in the UK, so long as we remain resident in Spain.
Unless I am mistaken, our European Health Insurance cards will still be valid after Brexit, so we can travel in the EU without having to take out private health insurance.
It looks to me as if British residents in Spain will end up with better EU rights than British residents back home, as will EU residents in the UK.
Of course, there may be downsides to Brexit for British residents in Spain, like a weaker pound reducing the purchasing power of some, though it might not turn out that way. Nobody knows how it will turn out, and who will be the winners and losers in the medium and long run. We’ll have to wait five to ten years to see.
But, in the meantime, I’m relieved to say Brexit doesn’t look too bad for British residents in Spain. It could have been worse.
For further reading see the EU Q&A document on the rights of EU and UK citizens post-Brexit.