UPDATE: “Finalising the text”: British Ambassador gives further details on UK driving licences

"End of July": British Ambassador gives estimate on UK driving licence decision Credit: Shuttershock

The British Ambassador to Spain has given an estimate on when residents in Spain may once again be able to use their UK driving licences. 

UPDATE 4.10.pm. (June 24) A message from British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott on UK driving licence negotiations:

“This is a very quick update following my video message last week. We have been in discussions with our Spanish counterparts various times this week, we continue to make progress towards finalising the text of the agreement.”

“Other than that, what I said last week still stands and we will continue to keep you updated as soon as we have something substantive to report. Thank you.”

Original 1.13.pm (June 22) Ambassador Hugh Elliott said: “We’re continuing to work every day on this. I know what you want to know is exactly when you’re going to be able to drive again, and I still cannot give you a precise date I’m afraid, but I can tell you what we’ve been doing in the negotiations.”

“I can tell you what the next steps we’re taking are, and I can also tell you what sort of timescale we’re talking about.  I’ll try to be as specific as I can.”

“Now the good news, is that the UK and Spain are now in agreement on the core issues that have been problematic and we’re now very close to finalising the actual text of the agreement.”

“Once that’s happened… there are various legal clearances, language checks and final political approvals that we and the Spanish need to go through.”

“You’ll understand that this is an international treaty, so there are certain procedures that are just unavoidable. For example it will need formal approval by the Spanish council of ministers. Now you want to know how long this will take, of course.”

“The processes are not entirely in UK hands, which is partly why I can’t be more definitive and I can’t make promises. But our best estimate is that we’re looking at a date of having you back on the road around the end of July.”

“Now although this is only weeks away, I know it will feel like a very long time to many of you.  So we’re doing all we can at every point to try and accelerate, to advance as quickly as we can. ”

“I know from your messages that some of you are also experiencing real difficulties as a result of your inability to drive. The heat, for example. Many of you said the heat makes walking to school or going to the shops a less viable option.”

“And I don’t underestimate how challenging this makes things. I’d encourage you to explore any local support options available as we’ve advised before though I also recognise that in some places these are very limited at best.”

“So if you find yourself truly vulnerable or know somebody who is, do contact your local consulate. Their details are on gov.uk.”

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Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]