Seems sensible

British expats could lose the right to live and work in Spain in the event of a Brexit vote, the country’s Prime Minister has suggested.

The *right* to live and work there is derived from the Single Market rules. Exit that and lose the right.

There are other methods of allocating that right of course: Schengen does it (Switzerland is not an EU member but is in Schengen) and again there are other ways of doing the same thing. And Brits did live in Spain centuries before the EU was even dreamed of: so again other methods of achieving the same aim are obviously possible.

30 thoughts on “Seems sensible”

  1. The policy of Brexit campaigners is that EU nationals already in the UK would be allowed to stay. The equivalent policy for British ex-pats already in Spain would be to let them stay.

  2. Equivalent? The EU reaction to a vote for Brexit?

    Nah, you need more coffee. We would have betrayed the dream of ever more centralisation. Vicious, vindictive and counterproductive would be the order of the day.

    Or just pretending it didn’t happen, I suppose (cf the French reaction to anything EU that isn’t immediately conducive to the greater glory of France.)

  3. I think the residual EU would be most likely to preserve the rights of existing migrants in line with the Vienna Convention- I’m not sure there’s a great pan-eu desire to repatriate Brits. Although this could change if in the event of Brexit a new government realised that most of the ordinary people who have been “concerned about immigration” have become so because of the impact on them of immigration which has already occurred. Many of them will be somewhat disappointed if taking control of immigration only meant stopping or at least severely restricting future immigration. It’ll seem like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted- if you’ve got very angry with the EU for 10,000 Poles coming and settling in your town you’re not going to be very impressed by a post-Brexit government that delivers that status quo that upset you in the first place.

    But there will be some curiosities too. For all those complaining about strain on services due to absolute numbers in this country which could only be solved by getting net migration down to near zero there would have to be a decision about how to deal with expat returnees. Instinctively of course you’d say “they’re Brits, no question they can come home”. But if you’re bothered about net migration and aren’t looking to force repatriation of EU migrants already here why shouldn’t returnees have to satisfy our new points based test? So, bad luck granny, we’re keeping Dr Schmidt instead of letting you come home.

  4. I’m trying to work out what would happen in my corner of Spain if all us Brit ex-pats were told we were no longer welcome & to bugger off. We already have some of the highest unemployment rates in Spain & the fallout from the Crisis property crash. It’s basically us ex-pats, particularly the Brits, provide it with an economy in the first place.
    I’m guessing Malaga Province would cede from Spain & apply to join Gibraltar. Possibly take the rest of Andalucia with it. & maybe some of the provinces of Valencia’d want to join the party.
    Wonder how my Russian & S. American mates would feel about it? Hey! They’re not from EU countries either. How are they managing to survive here?

  5. @BIS

    Does that mean that you’d need passport & visa to get into San Roque? You’d be crossing the Malaga/Cadiz border before the Gibraltar one.

    There are a lot of commuters along that stretch of the A7/N-340 (I can see that stretch of road from here, 300 metres away).

    And I’ve had the same thoughts, too (about ex-pats leaving). This area, and especially nearby La Linea, is hugely dependent on ex-pats living here and working in Gib. The real shame is things have been really picking up here for the last 18 months or so.

  6. It’ll seem like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted- if you’ve got very angry with the EU for 10,000 Poles coming and settling in your town you’re not going to be very impressed by a post-Brexit government that delivers that status quo that upset you in the first place.

    We keep being told that most of the half-million EU workers issued with NI numbers every year have gone home again. Therefore there’s no reason to believe that the remainder won’t follow in due course, making this a self-solving problem.

  7. Nothing enormous is going to happen.

    UK tourism is vital to Spain. Agricultural (including wine) sales to the UK are vital. Car sales are important. There is already loads of two way investment. London is full of Spaniards who would be on the unemployment list here.

    Some may want to vent hissy fits but the money numbers will keep them in check.

  8. I think we’d just anschluss that bit. I mean, what’s the Spanish military going to do about it? Local branch of the Women’s’ Institute could give them a drubbing.

  9. If this chap is right, and Brexit could be bad for everyone, the solution might be an Anglo-Spanish agreement hammered out over a beer somewhere congenial.

  10. Don’t forget that 1/4 of all UK Citizens have an Irish grandparent and therefore can claim Irish citizenship by descent just by providing a couple of birth certificates and filling in a passport application form.

    In the event of BRExit I doubt that the Republic of Ireland would follow the UK out of the EU, even though they essentially followed us into the EU.

  11. SE,
    EU true-believers may well wish to be “Vicious, vindictive and counterproductive”, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get their way.

    Any nastiness over trade is going to create losers on both sides. Not an issue for the average Eurocrat, but of great importance to the French Union of Tyre-Burners & Allied Heavies. The Eurocrats will have to keep schtum.

    Brexit may even increase Britain’s influence in the EU.

  12. France –for example–is full of violent ghettos of dear imports who hold annual riots. Trendy lefties go to the USAs “Burning Man” fest. Trendy RoPs go to France’s “The Burning Car” festival.

    It seems they can do nothing the above–but free-spending UK ex-pats are to be rousted? Good–let the ex-pats spend their money over here instead of over there.

  13. How do the Irish check birth certificates? My Irish grandpa was born so long ago that his records were probably destroyed in that nasty little civil war they had after independence. And I have no records.

  14. Arbitrarily picking 1950, although someone most likely dreamed of a pan-European state far sooner, and using the lowest integer value for centuries most would accept, 2, that gives us a starting point of 1750. Anything before this date can be considered.

    Considering that Spain was still a major power at that time how many Brits would have actually been in Spain?

  15. as long as they keep usimgm’could’ it’s all just hot air and scare tactics, I would think Spain stands to lose more than the UK from being vindictive about any Brexit.

    Also pretty sure that any scheme to turf out ex-pats from the EU would soon find itself in front of the EU human rights courts, no doubt some sort of annoying registration scheme could be introduced though.

  16. @dearieme
    If your Irish grandparent was born pre-1900 there’s a fair chance he or she never had a birth certificate, and so isn’t recorded in the Irish records system.
    In that case people used baptism records as evidence. I don’t know if they are acceptable for naturalisation purposes.

  17. Liberal Yank, if your definition of Brit includes Irish, then if you look at the names of Spanish generals during the Peninsular War, you will find a chap called Blake, an O’Donnell, an O’Donoju, an O’Neill, an O’Neylle, a Reding, and a Whittingham.

    Once Britain went Protestant, a lot of Catholics went into exile in Spain and there was almost continual contact nd migration between Jesuit establishments in Spain and Ireland. And this is without mentioning the people who moved to Spain to enjoy the warmer climate or who owned property in Spain. When Catherine of Aragon moved to England to marry Henry, she was surrounded by couriers. Some of these intermarried with the English. The same thing happened when Philip II married Mary Tudor – he lived in England from July 1554 to August 1555 and would have brought over a substantial retinue. It is easy to imagine that marriages with English people took place and that those couples would have gone to Spain when Philip left England.

    Today, you can find Brits resident in most places you visit eg Thailand, India, Philippines – the same as you can find Yanks everywhere. Some would have gone on the “Grand Tour”, dropped-out and live on the beaches at their families’ expense. Others become handymen or teach English or music or run consulates or run businesses. Britain being a trading nation at the time probably needed local agencies in Spanish ports for all the shipping companies. I can easily imagine that the British population of Spain in 1750 was about the same size as it is now.

  18. I am unsure of the rule on when to count the Irish. It appears they count in 2/3 of situations but I can’t define the specific cases accurately.

    Everything else embiggens my understanding of British history. Thank you for the overview.

  19. “Embiggens”.

    What a tootlingly bloody brilliant word. I shall make use of it, forthwith.

  20. Sadly I can not take credit for it. I first heard the word on the Simpson’s episode that also uses cromulent.

  21. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I like the idea that everyone in UK is getting upset about Poles moving to their town. “Bloody foreigners, coming over here and tiling our bathrooms.” I suspect people are rather more concerned about the influx of enrichers. Of course, we could ship them all back without leaving the EU, but no-one seems to mention that.

  22. Bicr, no one seems to see the other side. It is the ” I am an expat in Spain rather than an immigrant.” and who cares as long as we pay our way?

  23. I have no clue Mister Bean. A quick search didn’t turn up a solid figure but it looks like we are talking about 1-3% of total citizens.

  24. @Bloke in Costa Rica
    “June 2, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I like the idea that everyone in UK is getting upset about Poles moving to their town. “Bloody foreigners, coming over here and tiling our bathrooms.” I suspect people are rather more concerned about the influx of enrichers. Of course, we could ship them all back without leaving the EU, but no-one seems to mention that.

    Some of them are EU citizens

  25. Who will the euroskeptics blame for the economic collapse of the UK after Brexit, the plunging house prices, the unemployment, the repossessions, the run on the pound, the collapse of the financial and banking sector? Who will the sceptics blame and scapegoat the jews, the gays, the gypsies, the muslims, the hindus, the Asians, the Chinese, the Africans, Will we all end up in camps for being pro Europe. Will they classify us as traitors who were to blame for the economic crises the euroskeptics will cause?

    A collapse of the European Union would be a geopolitical disaster for Europe. We would be weak and divided and ripe for plunder by superpowers of the future India, China, Russia and even our friend the USA, would not be able to save us from the proxy wars, civil wars, imposed puppet state dictators imposed on a Europe that would like the Middle East be set to become a geopolitical playground for the superpowers.

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