Expat POLL: Will Spain regret not making new rules easier for British pensioners? VOTE

Spain: British expats face threat of return to UK warns expert

New rules have impacted expats across the continent now the UK has fully cut ties with the European Union. Under Spanish rules, pensioners must now prove an annual salary of £21,000 despite the UK state pension being just over £6,500 a year, meaning Spain could face an exodus of Brits. It comes after Spain started to enforce 90-day stays on unregistered Brits living in the country. 

In light of those new rules impacting UK citizens, Express.co.uk is asking in today’s exclusive poll: “Will Spain regret not making new rules easier for British pensioners?”

Four months after Brexit, Spain has not relaxed the rules for Britons living in the country, despite the estimated £12billion UK nationals pour into the local economy.

Large numbers of Britons returned to the UK ahead of the end of the three-month visa-free period which ended on March 31.

The three month period came into force after freedom of movement came to an end following Brexit.

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Brexit news: Will Spain regret post-Brexit rule change? (Image: GETTY)

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Brexit news: Nationals are invaluable to the Spanish economy (Image: GETTY)

Under the new rules, if Britons are found to be in Spain past the three month period, they could face deportation from the country as they would be classed as an undocumented migrant.

Moira Carmenate, of the Expat Centre in Costa Blanca South, said she had been surprised Spain hadn’t dropped the regulations amid the threat to so many UK nationals leaving in the country.

She told Express.co.uk: “We kind of expected them to have changed the rules by now, but then who knows what they’re thinking?

“I’d be surprised if they don’t change it but you can’t second guess what they’re thinking.

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Brexit news: Expats may be forced to leave the country (Image: GETTY)

“Maybe they want to attract younger people.

“But that’s the requirement at the moment and it’s not something that a lot of pensioners will be able to achieve.

“If it stays it will undoubtedly change the landscape of who will apply.

“You wonder why they haven’t changed it considering how much this group contributes to Spain’s economy.

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Brexit news: Nationals can apply for an ID card (Image: GETTY)

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Brexit news: UK nationals must prove their financial independence (Image: GETTY)

“It’s not in good shape anyway and with Covid every economy in the world has taken a knock.

“It would make you think the Spanish would want all the money it could get.

“But that’s not happened so far and there’s no indication anything will change.”

Under the withdrawal agreement, UK nationals who arrived before December 31, 2020, are entitled to residence rights.

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Brexit news: A timeline of events leading to the UK’s exit (Image: Express)

Due to this, residents can apply for an ID card to make it easier to prove their status in the country.

It is estimated 360,000 British nationals have done so already, although some missed the application deadline.

However, those who have arrived in the country this year are not entitled to residency rights under the withdrawal agreement.

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Brexit news: Mr Johnson agreed the deal in December (Image: PA)

In order to do apply for an ID card, residents need to have a registered address, be financially independent and have private healthcare.

Under Spain’s rules, expats need proof of work or if they have retired be able to show they earn more than £21,000 a year.

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