Politics

Brits in Spain, a month on from Brexit

Alicante, Spain, Jan 30 (efe-epa).- From apathy to anger, it is a familiar emotional journey for many in Spain’s British expatriate community since Brexit became official a month ago.

With an estimated 262,000 registered residents, Brits comprise the fourth-largest foreign community in Spain, the majority based in the warm Mediterranean coast, the Balearics or the Canary Islands.

One of the most “British” towns is San Fulgencio near Alicante, where Brits outnumber Spaniards 3,000 to 2,800. The local tourist councilor, Darren Parmenter, is originally from London. He says that the pandemic has recently overshadowed the topic of Brexit.

Aside from some small hurdles, such as difficulties stocking the local supermarket with British products, Parmenter says most residents have their papers in order for post-Brexit life.

But for others Brexit was more disruptive. Especially for the so-called “swallows” — British nationals who spend summer in the UK and winter in sunny Spain.

Post-Brexit travel rules mean non-resident Brits cannot spend more than 90 days per six months in an EU country without a visa.

James, a retiree from Manchester, is mulling whether to keep his holiday home in Tenerife due to Brexit. For the last decade, he and his family have spent October to April on the Spanish island. EFE-EPA

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