The Spanish government's contingency measures to protect British residents' rights issued last week would only come into effect if Britain did not reach a broader Brexit deal with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement that UK MPs will vote on next week.
In these alternative 'hard Brexit' measures, people living in Spain would have to apply for a foreigner identity card before January 2021 to show that they were legally resident. For people who had permanent residency already as EU citizens, the ministers' decree says that the process would be largely automatic, whereas those without that may need to take extra steps to get a foreign residents' card. The exact process has not been announced.
The Spanish government also envisages agreements whereby British registered residents would continue to receive their UK pensions in Spain and get public healthcare. In addition, the right of British workers in Spain to get healthcare would be maintained.
Tourists would also be able to receive emergency healthcare in Spain as now, providing that the UK authorities did the same thing for Spanish visitors to Britain.
The no-deal contingency measures would also apply to people living in Gibraltar.