An open letter from HMA Hugh Elliott to British citizens living in Spain
You will all have seen that the EU has agreed the UK’s request for a further extension. This means that the UK will not now be leaving the EU on the 31st of October. The extension sets a new deadline of the 31st of January 2020.
I met with some of the citizens’ rights groups yesterday here in Madrid and we talked about recent developments, about the continuing feeling of uncertainty and about the concerns of British nationals living in Spain.
The three month extension removes the immediate threat of no deal and provides an opportunity for the deal – which protects citizens’ rights – to be ratified.
For as long as we remain in the EU, UK nationals will retain their full EU citizenship rights. So if you are a UK national living in Spain now, nothing will change on the 31st of October. The current rules on registration, healthcare and travelling will remain exactly as they are now.
However it is still important to be prepared for Brexit. The extension period is a good opportunity to make sure you, your friends and family are fully prepared.
So I would encourage you all to use this time to ensure you are correctly registered as resident in Spain and registered for healthcare. And to ensure that you have exchanged your driving licence and checked your passport validity.
Secondly, I’m sure you have seen in the media that a general election will be held on the 12th of December. If you are a UK National who has been here for less than 15 years you can register as an overseas voter (further information can be found at gov.uk/voting-when-abroad). The deadline to receive proxy vote applications will be the 4th of December.
The Embassy and our network of Consulates will keep you updated on further developments. We will continue holding outreach events – meetings, pop-up events in your local supermarket and the like; details are on our Living in Guide and on Facebook. Please do make sure you are signed up for the Living in Guide on gov.uk and stay in touch through our Brits in Spain Facebook page.