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Spanish government reiterates message of reassurance in new Brexit web resource

  • Spain's contingency plan for a no-deal exit from the EU will "safeguard the interests of British citizens" says the government

While Westminster tries to pull a 'Plan B' out of its hat by Monday, the Spanish government says it is continuing to work on its contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit.

On Wednesday the deputy prime minister, Carmen Calvo, confirmed the government's intention to pass the plan, which will include provision for maintaining the rights of British citizens resident in Spain, via special decree in February.

On Monday the government launched its own "Preparing for Brexit" web resource on the official Moncloa website.

Published in English and Spanish, the information states: "In the case of withdrawal without an agreement, the contingency measures the Government of Spain is working on seek to safeguard the interests of British citizens who, prior to the date on which the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union takes place, exercised their right to free movement and reside in Spain."

British Ambassador Simon Manley said this week: "Whatever happens in the days and weeks to come, both British and Spanish governments have committed themselves to protect the rights of citizens, be they British nationals in Spain, or Spaniards in the UK, because we want people to continue living, studying and working broadly as they have done up to now. The Spanish Government's launch of its new Brexit web resource earlier this week underlines that shared commitment, together with their assurances that UK nationals who have chosen to make their home here will have their rights respected."

The Moncloa site also states that Spain and the UK are currently working on a reciprocal agreement that will allow British citizens to vote in the May local elections even in the case of a no-deal Brexit, and vice-versa. The aim of the agreement, due to be signed shortly, is to maintain the "status quo" regarding the right to vote and stand for election. Residents must, however, have registered to vote by 30 January.