Spain says expats can stay even in ‘no deal’ scenario

British expats in Spain have been guaranteed the right to remain after Brexit, regardless of EU negotiations. Conversely, questions have been raised over the legality of UK plans to register EU expats.

Madrid: Spain guarantees British citizens right to remain
More than 300,000 Britons living in Spain will be allowed to remain there after Brexit even if the UK leaves the European Union without reaching a withdrawal deal, the country’s foreign minister has said.

British expats in Spain guaranteed chance to remain

Interviewed by the BBC, Alfonso Dastis said his government would ensure that the lives of ordinary Britons in Spain were “not disrupted” regardless of the outcome of Brexit talks.Although the rights of three million-plus EU citizens living in the UK, along with the fate of more than a million British expats in Europe, are top of the agenda in the withdrawal talks, the two sides remain deadlocked over a number of issues.The 308,800 Britons living in Spain – about a third of them over the age of 65 – represent the largest UK expat contingent in any of the EU countries.Mr Dastis told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, “I do hope that there will be a deal. If there is no deal, we will make sure that the lives of ordinary people who are in Spain, the UK people, is not disrupted.“As you know, the relationship between the UK and Spain is a very close one in terms of economic relations and also social exchanges. Over 17 million Brits come to Spain every year and many of them live here or retire here and we want to keep it that way as much as possible.”

British plans to register EU nationals legal dispute

Meanwhile, the British government has been warned by a cross-party group of MEPs that plans to register EU nationals in a post-Brexit transitional period would be illegal and unacceptable to the European Parliament, according to a report in Monday’s Guardian.The MEPs have written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd after she told the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Committee last week that she expected EU nationals would to have to register with the authorities immediately after Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.But in their letter, the MEPs from across Europe say, “Is the Home Office suggesting that only non-UK EU citizens needs to register? Article 26 of the freedom of movement directive makes it very clear that residency cards are for everyone, or no one.“We find it extremely troubling for the home secretary of a member state currently complying with EU laws to make such a statement.”
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Officials in Brussels insist that EU laws and the bloc’s institutions must continue to apply to the UK during a transition period, with the rights of EU citizens being no exception.The MEPs also told Ms Rudd, “We also heard you say during the committee hearing that those EU citizens who fail criminal records checks may be rejected. Article 7 of the freedom of movement directive clearly states the necessary areas of compliance for an EU citizen to reside in a member state and criminality is not one of them.”The letter could be significant because any Brexit deal – including any transitional arrangements – will require approval from the EU Parliament.For related news and features, visit our Immigration section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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