Noticias de la Cámara

Open Letter to UK Citizens Living in Spain, from HMA Simon Manley

31/07/2017 embajada_brtianica_1

Given the success of the Spanish State Visit to the UK the week before last, which, among other things, highlighted the importance of people to people links between our two countries, I thought it timely to return to the subject of citizens’ rights in the negotiations on our departure from and future partnership with the EU.

In the year since the EU referendum, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you across the country, from the Balearics to the Canaries, along the Costas and in Madrid, and our consular teams have met many more.

I know from those conversations that there has been uncertainty for many of you. My teams and I have listened to your concerns about the future, including about your residency status in Spain, the level of your UK pensions, and your access to Spanish health and other social services, and have noted the questions you have about tax, inheritance, right to work and the implications of applying for Spanish nationality.

At our meetings, on our social media and in interviews, I have also pledged to keep you up to date as negotiations on our exit from the European Union continue. So, let me update you on where matters stand now, in light of the latest negotiation round in Brussels last week.

The UK Government has been clear that citizens are our top priority in the exit negotiations. We want an agreement that provides citizens with greater certainty about their future.

Last week, we held constructive and substantive discussions with the European Commission on the bulk of the issues underpinning our respective positions on citizens’ rights. Together we have taken a big step forward. There is a much clearer understanding on the detail of the positions on both sides and significant convergence on the key issues that really matter to citizens. You can read this technical note which compares the UK and EU positions on these issues here. It is clear both sides want to move towards an agreement.

As you know, on 26 June, the Prime Minister outlined to Parliament an offer to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK. We are entering the negotiations with the European Commission and the other 27 EU Member States constructively and we therefore hope that the EU27 will offer reciprocal treatment for British nationals resident in the other Member States.

Many of you will have seen press reports of our 26 June offer, whether in the UK or Spanish media. I hope you will also have read the detailed proposals which are set out in “Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU” and I would encourage you to sign-up for email alerts (you can do so on the Home Office page) to receive updates, to ensure that you are receiving information and guidance from official sources.

The first key element of the new proposal is residence status and working rights. Until the UK’s exit, EU citizens in the UK will continue to enjoy all the rights they currently have under EU law; they can continue to live and work in the UK just as they do now.

The same rights also apply to you, British residents in Spain. You can continue to live and work here in Spain as you always have done. After the UK’s exit from the EU, we are proposing a reciprocal deal that would protect the right of UK nationals already in the EU to continue to live and work in the EU. We hope that the European Commission and the 27 other Member States will agree to this.

The second key element is healthcare, pensions, education and access to benefits. It is our intention to treat EU citizens with settled status in the UK in the same way as if they were UK citizens for the purposes of access to education, benefits and pensions.

For you, the Government has announced that the UK will continue to export and uprate the UK State Pension and provide associated healthcare cover within the EU, issues which I know from my conversations over the last year were important to many of you.

At the moment, those of you who are UK pensioners and resident in Spain access healthcare through the S1 form. This means the UK reimburses Spain the cost of providing medical treatment. After the UK leaves the EU, we want to continue your healthcare entitlements on the same basis. Healthcare in Spain was indeed one of the case studies cited in the detailed proposalsmade by the British Government on 26 June.

Subject to negotiations, we want to continue participating in the European Health Insurance Card scheme meaning EHIC holders continue to benefit from free, or reduced-cost, needs-arising healthcare while on a temporary stay in the EU — and vice versa for EU EHIC holders visiting the UK. We hope the European Commission will agree to this.

The British Government has repeatedly said that, until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. You can continue travelling throughout the EU on your UK passport, without any visa requirements. You can continue to access Spanish healthcare and draw your UK pension. If you have any difficulties accessing those rights, do please let our Consulates know

I will continue to engage with you and listen to you, as will my consular teams across Spain. In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter (@SimonManleyFCO) and access the Embassy’s social media (@UKinSpainon Twitter; British Embassy Madrid and Brits in Spain on Facebook) to keep up to date with developments.

Socios Patrón

  • Gestamp Servicios
  • NH Hotel Group
  • GSK
  • Brico Depôt
  • Diageo
  • Banco Sabadell
  • HSBC Bank
  • AstraZeneca
  • Savills
  • JCB
  • Hays España
  • Santander
  • Evolutio
  • Pearson
  • Canon
  • Gleeds Ibérica
  • Mitie
  • Lopez Landa Interiors
  • Oxford University Press
  • Iberdrola
  • El Corte Inglés
  • Arriva a DB Company
  • PwC
  • Mondragon Corporación
  • Plain Concepts
  • Selier Abogados
  • Telefónica
  • Cuatrecasas
  • EAE Business School
  • Sage

Socios Corporativos

  • Menzies LLP
  • Globeducate British International School
  • Brunswick Group
  • Gómez-Acebo & Pombo
  • Allergy Therapeutics Iberica
  • Schüco
  • Uría Menéndez Abogados
  • Finastra
  • Talan
  • British Council
  • H10 Hotels
  • Colt Technology Services
  • CMAC Group
  • Cambridge University Press
  • énergie Fitness
  • Baker Tilly
  • Presstour
  • TSL Projects Spain
  • Gamma
  • Cabrera Rodriguez ETL Global
  • UAL Awarding Body
  • ETL Global
  • Ayming España
  • A&O Shearman
  • De Cotta McKenna y Santafé
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Byevolution Creative Factory
  • Segro Spain Management
  • Value Retail
  • IQS
  • Gilmar Real Estate
  • MARCO Agency
  • BDO
  • Barrilero & Asociados
  • RSM Spain
  • Rentokil Initial
  • Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía
  • Gentile Law
  • Spectrum IFA Group
  • CaixaBank
  • Adlanter
  • Cubico Sustainable Investments
  • Mazars
  • KPMG
  • Berkeley Energía
  • Flutter
  • EGD Logistics
  • Uhy Fay & Co
  • Haleon
  • Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA, Sucursal en España
  • Control Group
  • PKF Attest
  • Redshaw Advisors
  • Barclays
  • Bunzl Distribution Spain
  • Grant Thornton
  • Kreab Worldwide
  • Safetykleen
  • Croda Ibérica
  • Ferrovial
  • Prosegur Seguridad
  • Oak House School
  • Roman
  • EY
  • David Lloyd
  • ERM
  • Araex Grands
  • PageGroup
  • AFI, Analistas Financieros Internacionales
  • Lightsource bp
  • Boult Wade
  • Cognita Schools
  • Agbar
  • IESE Business School
  • Sacyr
  • Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance
  • Invest Northern Ireland
  • Kensington School
  • Arup
  • BSI Group Iberia
  • Agencia de Innovación y Desarrollo de Andalucía IDEA
  • Holiday World Resort
  • LRQA España
  • Indra
  • Aon España
  • ISP Schools
  • Management Solutions
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • BT Global Services
  • Brand Finance
  • McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Málaga
  • BAT
  • The Entertainer / Poly Juguetes
  • Currencies Direct
  • Engage Independent School