The UK government's Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay, met with representatives of British residents in Spain during his visit on Thursday to Madrid where he discussed the UK's exit from the EU and citizens' rights with Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell.
After speaking to representatives of Brexpats in Spain, ECREU and EuroCitizens, Barclay said in a video message addressing UK Nationals living in Spain:
“It’s been really useful to meet citizens’ rights groups representing British nationals living in Spain to hear about their concerns on things like healthcare. We are absolutely committed to protecting healthcare - we are in discussions with the Spanish government on that. Through the Royal Decree, the Spanish Government has given good support to citizens here, compared to other member states.”
He added: “We are committed to getting a deal - that is the best way to safeguard citizens’ rights. And we will ensure that we continue to support them as we go through the Brexit process.”
Major information campaign
The Secretary of State’s visit follows the UK Government’s launch of a major information campaign urging UK nationals living in Spain to get ready for Brexit on 31 October. It is part of a wider communications campaign effort across Europe.
The British Embassy has said that UK nationals in Spain will receive information about specific actions they need to take to keep their rights and access to services in Spain, including around residency, healthcare, driving licences and passports.
The campaign will use multiple channels - from Facebook posts to billboard posters in towns and cities across Spain - urging people to take action ahead of 31 October, and builds on the Consulates’ outreach and pop-up events.
The new information campaign asks UK nationals to take action to prepare for Brexit by checking the Living in Spain Guide at gov.uk/livinginspain and apply for residency, register for healthcare, exchange their UK driving licence for a Spanish one and check their passport is valid for travel.
The video message from the Secretary of State can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/jO1QQDdVww8
For more information join the British Embassy's Brits in Spain Facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/