New rules post-Brexit mean Britons who were once able to enter and leave European countries on a whim will be limited to stays of 90 days within every 180 days. Those wishing to register as residents in Spain will have to jump through a number of bureaucratic hoops to prove earnings of £2,000 a month — and £500 more for each dependent — as well as acquire Spanish driving licences. Many have even left their European homes and headed back to the UK. Earlier this month, one expat told The Mirror that Britons abroad are being “screwed over”.
They said: “We have really been screwed over.
“I have worked here for years and so has my partner who is still working .
“She enjoys all the liberties of the United Kingdom legally and we own a home in Spain where she also enjoys all the liberties as she has an EU passport.
“We spend four to six months a year in our home in Spain but now I have been discriminated against and must leave after 90 days and leave her there for as long as she so wishes “
The Briton, who chose to speak anonymously, hit out at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.
They added: “We have always been equal in everything we do but I have been told by the embassy that unless we marry under EU legislation I will not be allowed to stay with my partner and may not return to her for a further 180 days .
“I need care at my age and I’m dreading being forced to be on my own away from my partner and friends in Spain for such a long time.
“This oven-ready deal will break many long-term relationships and destroy the long-term plans that many EU/UK couples have carefully chosen in the younger lives.”
Another expat – Marilyn Smyth, from Epping Forest – said her dreams have been all but ruined by Brexit.
She is concerned given she owns a property in Alicante.
She added: “I didn’t want Brexit particularly but I didn’t get very distressed about it at all.
“But as time’s gone on, I’m feeling more and more alarmed because I don’t think enough has been done to ensure that people who have property abroad have been considered.”
A petition to lobby the UK Government to negotiate post-Brexit equal rights for UK citizens with properties in EU countries to those automatically awarded to EU citizens staying in the UK was launched last month in the hope millions of British expats living in the bloc could stay for longer than 90 days in a row.
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Amid the chaos, a UK Government spokesperson said: “The rights of UK nationals to continue living, working and studying in their EU Member State are protected by law. Anyone legally resident before January 1, 2021, can stay but should register their residence.
“The UK Government has been running a public information campaign across Europe to inform UK nationals about the actions they may need to take to secure their rights and access to services.
“This includes outreach events, adverts on social media and in newspapers, and support through our network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.”