Blog: ‘No sympathy’ Leave voters hit out at expats blaming Brexit – ‘you had 5 years to prepare’ – Express

UK citizens once had unfettered access to the EU. Now Britons who wish to stay in the can only do so for 90 days within every 180 days. Also, in Spain, where most expats live, those who wish to register as residents will have to prove earnings of £2,000 a month and £500 more for each dependent. One furious Express.co.uk reader commented: “So these expats have had five long years to sort this out, and yet blame people who voted leave for their woes.

“I have absolutely no sympathy for these selfish, narrow-minded expats, who think we ought to have stayed in the EU, and have the UK destroyed by the EU, just to suit their agenda.”

Since Brexit new EU rules surrounding freedom of movement for UK citizens have created difficulties for those who wish to remain in the bloc.

One UK citizen, Tony Harrison, who resides in Benidorm spoke to Express.co.uk to highlight the problems that face those who want to stay in the EU.

He said: “I think Brexit has caused major issues for many living in Spain and certainly for many in Benidorm.

“With Covid causing a complete collapse in tourism forcing most bars to lay off staff, issues around residency has become a major problem.”

This view was echoed by Michel Euesden, owner of Euro Weekly, an English language newspaper in southern Spain that has described the beginning exodus of British citizens living in Spain.

He said: “Removal companies have never been busier.

“There’s an abundance of people leaving.

“We were warning about the consequences of Brexit.

“However, nobody took any notice.

“Now our lives have changed forever.”

One Express.co.uk reader commented saying that “most of these expats are where they are because they never wanted to become Spanish citizens”.

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The reader added: “They wanted to live in the sun.

“But they always have the fallback option of the UK Social Services system.

“I have a friend who has been doing this very thing for over twenty years now.

“Lives in Spain and owns property in Spain.

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“Uses the UK National Health system, as still registered as living in the UK.

“You really can’t have it both ways.”

British citizens can obtain a Spanish residency visa under Spain’s Investment Permit Program.

The visa scheme allows investors and their families who meet the requirements to secure Spanish residency by investing in Spain.

Currently, UK nationals can live in Spain for up to 182 days per year and remain as UK tax residents.

But this will soon be changed to allow residency for only 90 days in any 6-month period.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) states: “On July 6 2020, the Spanish government introduced a new residence document for UK nationals living in Spain who have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement – the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE).

“This biometric card explicitly states that it has been issued to the holder under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

“All UK nationals legally resident in Spain before January 1 2021 have the right to request this card.

“If you register as resident after July 6 2020 but were living in Spain before January 1 2021, you must follow a two-step process to obtain your TIE.

“If you meet the requirements and your application is approved you will be issued with the TIE.”

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