British residents in Spain left unscathed by Brexit

life in Spain after brexit for property owners

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.

SPI Member Comments

Thoughts on “British residents in Spain left unscathed by Brexit

  • Hi Mark

    Will you please give me your take on the position British people living in the EU will be in when the EU becomes, a Federal Republic and what if anything we should be doing because I have personally visited several Federal Republic Countries and they are living under atrocious conditions.

    No Foreign Radio nor Television, other than the local propaganda stations, no Foreign News papers, no outside of their country telephone, taxi drivers forbidden to speak with passengers the penalty for which is imprisonment, waiters and waitress’ are similarly treated, no gatherings in peoples houses no meeting or free speech and with, everyone looking over their shoulders to see who is watching

    Please tell me Mark do you think that is what the Federal State will mean for us ?

    Keep Safe and Stay Well

    Many thanks,

    Burt McCarthy.

  • Mark,
    Not quite as good as you make out, I think.
    1. Moving permanently to another EU country will not be possible without meeting that country’s rules for immigration. Free movement of people is one of the rights/obligations which the UK wanted to give up.
    2. UK issued EHIC cards will only be available for holders of S1 Certificates.

  • As long as you are Resident here already and preferably work, then Social Security and Health benefits are the same. Get the blue Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea Card if you want health treatment in other EU countries. Also get the new TIE, which should make it easier to travel within the EU (as long as you don’t show your UK passport). However, you probably will have to have Health Insurance if you want covered in the UK, unless there is reciprocal agreement between Spain and UK. Also need to get a Spanish Driving licence, NOW, or you may have to sit a test to get one later and your insurance may not cover you if driving on a UK one while resident in Spain. They’ll use all methods to avoid liability.
    And then there’s tax ……

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