In this article we will answer some questions about how Brexit affects British citizens residing in Spain.
How will Brexit affect the legal status of British citizens in Spain?
The British citizens living in Spain are now turning to their status as European Union citizens, which allows to freely move and work anywhere within the European Union.
The United Kingdom exit from the European Union will entail the exclusion of their citizens as European Union citizens and their rights under such legal regime.
Could nearly 300,000 British citizens become illegal in Spain?
In the worst-case scenario, where the United Kingdom left the Union without acceding to other international or bilateral treaties, immigration laws may allow swapping legal regimes in the event of cessation as European Union citizen or a relative of his/hers.
A change in the European Union regime for a general immigration regime is necessary in order to set deadlines, proceedings and a number of economic requirements for each applicant.
May the British enjoy the same legal status and their rights in Spain even when exiting the European Union?
Currently, there are non-EU countries which enjoy a statute that allows their citizens to live and work in Spain as if they were European Union citizens. This is the case of Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, and Switzerland.
In the case of the United Kingdom, it likely that after leaving the European Union they stay within the European Economic Area and therefore its citizens will continue to enjoy freedom of movement.
The upcoming months will be decisive, and Carbray will be performing a rigorous follow-up of the events in order to clarify what rights and freedoms enjoy British citizens in Spain from now on.