British disabled drivers lose out following Brexit in parts of Spain

Disabled parking can be something of a lottery Credit: Chongkian CC

BRITISH disabled drivers lose out following Brexit in parts of Spain although rules are really not clear.

In Animal Farm George Orwell wrote ‘All animals are created equal but some are more equal than others’ which could actually apply equally to British holders of blue disabled badges.

The European Union boasts about equality and inclusion for the disabled and Spain has even passed a law declaring pets as sentient beings (although hunting and bull fighting will still be allowed).

Following Brexit however it appears that some Spanish authorities have decided that UK holders of disabled blue badges are no longer equal to disabled people from the European Union as there are reports of people being fined for using their UK blue badges to park in disabled spaces.

According to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the member states of the International Transport Forum (ITF): EU and EEA, along with USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea, have agreed in principle to reciprocity for each other’s disabled citizens:

“To provide people with reduced mobility with a document (Parking Card / Permit) _ _ _ and to give the same parking facilities to holders of this document coming from another member or associated member country as they do to their own nationals.”

So, in theory, a protocol exists that should allow any non-EU passport holder with a blue badge issued by their country to park in a disabled space in Spain but the UK Government says on its section concerning Blue Badges that Spain, amongst other countries is undecided with regards to usage and the matter continues to be negotiated.

Many councils around Spain appear quite happy to let British badge holders park in their disabled spaces but there is an element of trial and error so be careful and hope for the best.

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