Britain’s Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley ‘pleased’ with Madrid’s Brexit contingency measures

Lifeguards rescue FOUR including two 6-year-olds off Cala Mijo beach in Spain's Águilas. Image: Ines Porada/

THE British Ambassador to Spain has said he is pleased with measures approved by Spanish Ministers covering expatriates and tourists in a no-deal Brexit.

Simon Manley said the measures, passed by Royal Decree on Saturday, offered assurances to British expatriates and holidaymakers including for healthcare and residency.

“I am pleased to see that the Spanish Government has announced a series of detailed Brexit contingency measures, published extensive advice to business and citizens, and has guaranteed the rights of EU nationals living in Britain,” the ambassador said.

“I welcome too the announcement on customs procedures to avoid potential obstacles to the free movement of goods, which will be important to both British and Spanish businesses who trade in our between our two countries,” Manley added.

Manley’s comments come as Spanish ministers unveiled the measures last week before approving them following Friday’s Council of Ministers cabinet meeting.

Josep Borrell, Spain’s Foreign Minister, said the measures would cover the residency of around 300,000 British expatriates until 2020.

 He said the objective was also to preserve normal trade flows and business activity between Spain and Britain.

Stephen Hammond, Britain’s Health Minister, said the measures were a positive step forward in making sure expatriates could continue to use the Spanish medical system.

“This should also give reassurance to the millions of British tourists who travel to Spain every year using the EHIC scheme for free or reduced medical costs if they need to see a doctor or nurse,” Hammond said.

The Royal Decree states that British citizens with residency will have to get a Foreigner’s Identity Card before December 31 2020. 

The Royal Decree also covers Gibraltar in a no-deal Brexit. It makes guarantees on allowing workers to continue travelling to and from the British enclave to work if no Withdrawal Agreement is passed before Friday March 29.

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Joe Gerrard

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