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Law in Spain

Law in Spain is a dedicated Blog to advise British Expats living in Spain about their legal issues through the expertise of Abad Abogados lawyers. The main purpose of this blog is helping Expats to find useful and updated legal tips to deal with Spanish Bureaucracy.

The Aftermath of BREXIT
07 July 2016

Who can believe that it was just over a week ago that we discovered the shocking news that Britain had in fact voted out of Europe!

And with an eventful few days of politics following the groundbreaking decision with everything seemingly ‘up in the air’ and no one really knowing which direction they will be moving in,  many of you have been left reeling and wondering just what does it all mean to your future here in Spain as ex-pats.

There are between 700,000 and one million Brits estimated to be ‘living the dream’ here in Spain. And speaking to many of our expat clients they all seem to have the same worries:

  • Will they be able to continue living/working here in Spain?
  • Will people moving here from now on find it difficult to get residency coming from a non- EEC country?
  • Will property prices fall again after seeing the first improvements in many years since the recession?
  • What will happen to their Spanish Wills – many recently having been amended to incorporate recent clauses in European Law? And in the event of an Inheritance?
  • And amongst the older communities especially, will they continue to be able to access the Spanish Health system as they can now?
  • Will they be able to afford to live here if the pound continues to fall against the euro? On announcing the result of the vote the pound crashed recording its biggest fall in over 30 years.

 

 

So, is it all doom and gloom????

 

Firstly, the main point to note is that under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, Britain has two years to negotiate its exit deals with EU member states so until these deals are negotiated, for the next two years or so, EVERYTHING WILL ESSENTIALLY REMAN THE SAME because the UK will remain part of the EU during this period.

 

So health care, pensions, residency etcetera will all continue as they are at the current time.

 

And in the future, in all honesty, no one can be sure of how it will affect you until the deals are done.

 

 Obviously free movement between Spain and Britain existed pre Europe, so one would suppose that this would continue indefinitely. However, more stringent rules may be applied to Brits hoping to work here in Spain. Working visas or permits may be required and a points system may be introduced in the decision process for residency and the right to work.

 

With regards state pensions, at the moment UK citizens who live in the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) have their state pensions protected - in that they are linked to wage or price inflation.

The UK government will now have to decide whether this will continue or whether UK pensioners living in EU countries should be treated as they are if they had retired to a non EU country, Canada, for example, where pensions are frozen, so this is likely to form part of the renegotiation process.

 

The UK's exit has to be negotiated with the remaining 27 members of the EU and ultimately approved by them. Once the UK tells the EU that it is withdrawing under Article 50, the member of the European Council representing them will not participate in the Council’s discussions or in decisions concerning its exit.

 

Despite the treaty stating two years to make agreements, in reality the whole process is likely to take anything up to 10 years say some experts.

 

 



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