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Press release

Bremain in Spain Reacts to Royal Decree by Spanish Government

A decree to protect UK citizens’ rights in Spain if no-deal Brexit occurs

Bremain in Spain members
Bremain in Spain members
March 05, 2019, Valencia, Spain. Press Dispensary. On Friday, the Spanish government announced its plans for the protection of British citizens in Spain, in the event of a no-deal Brexit on March 29. The “Real Decreto” (Royal Decree) aims to protect the rights of all British residents in Spain in this scenario. Decree laws are only used in cases of extraordinary and urgent need, and this law is expected to pass through the Spanish cabinet and be ratified by Spanish parliament with “due haste”. Bremain in Spain ( ( ), a group working to protect the rights of UK citizens in Spain and the EU, provides its reaction.

Sue Wilson, chair of Bremain in Spain, comments: “This is excellent news, and proves what we have believed all along - that the Spanish authorities have our best interests at heart and value our contribution to Spanish society. The Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, has stated that the objective is to leave no British citizens - or their families - unprotected and for things to ‘remain the same’ as they are now.”

“One concern is that the offer has been made unilaterally, in anticipation of reciprocity by the UK government. The decree states that if there are no reciprocal arrangements within two months, the cabinet can suspend it.”

“This element has raised alarm bells with some Bremain in Spain members. While they have every faith in the Spanish government to treat us fairly and with compassion, they do not extend that faith to the British government’s treatment of EU citizens. Nobody has forgotten about the ‘hostile environment’ or the Windrush scandal.”

Wilson concludes: “The Spanish government’s commitment is only for a no-deal Brexit scenario. It’s a contingency plan. A better option would be for the rights enshrined in the Withdrawal Agreement to be agreed and confirmed. However, even that agreement only goes so far and removes certain rights and freedoms we anticipated having for life when we moved to Spain. The only way to ensure that all our existing rights and freedoms are protected is to keep the deal we have now. It’s time to stop squandering time and resources on preparing for a no-deal contingency, when we could plan for a no-Brexit.”

The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, said: "I am pleased to see that the Spanish Government has today announced a series of detailed Brexit contingency measures, should the UK leave without a deal. The Royal Decree offers important assurances on issues like residency and access to healthcare for the more than 300,000 British nationals who have chosen to make Spain their home, and for the many millions more British tourists who visit Spain each year.”

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Notes for editors
Bremain in Spain is a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living and working in Spain. Run by a team of volunteers and chaired by Sue Wilson - a resident of the Valencian Community - the group advocates a tolerant and outward-looking society. It believes this is best achieved by the UK remaining a member of the EU. Bremain in Spain is part of the British in Europe coalition of 10 UK citizens’ groups across the EU. It is also affiliated to Britain for Europe and European Movement.

For further information please contact
Sue Wilson, Chair
Bremain in Spain
Jo Chipchase
Press Officer
Tel: + 34 696 056 328

Alastair Stewart
Deputy Press Officer
Tel: + 44 7549 504281

Facebook: Bremain in Spain
Twitter: @BremainInSpain

Published for Bremain in Spain by Press Dispensary
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