Expats throughout the continent have been impacted by new rules now the UK has cut all ties with the European Union. Under newly-implemented Spanish rules, pensioners must now prove an annual salary of £21,000 – despite the UK state pension currently standing at just £6,500 a year, a move that could trigger an exodus of Brits from Spain. This came after Spain started to enforce 90-day stays on unregistered Brits living in the country.
Now in a new Express.co.uk poll, readers have lashed out at Spain and threatened to holiday and live elsewhere if the rules aren’t changed quickly.
The poll, which ran from 11am until 6pm on Monday April 1, asked: “Will Spain regret not making new rules easier for British pensioners?”
A huge 84 percent (2,241 readers) warned Spain will regret imposing stricter rules on pensioners from Britain.
Fifteen percent (366 readers) who voted disagreed, while the remaining one percent (32 readers) were undecided.
Outraged Expesss.co.uk vented their fury in the comments section accompanying the initial poll story.
One person said: “Spain receives the largest proportion of UK outbound tourism spend, standing at £7.9 billion in 2016, equivalent to 18 percent of the world total and 31 percent of UK tourists entire spend in the EU27 countries.
“Just avoid Spain. That is the way to hurt them.
“UK tourists will not suffer they will just find the sun somewhere else.”
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A fourth person simply said: “What’s so special about Spain anyway? A country that wants our money whilst trying to steel Gibraltar and invade its waters.”
Britain only completed Brexit at the end of last year but Spain has still not relaxed the rules for Britons living in the country, despite the estimated £12billion UK nationals inject into the local economy.
Swathes of Brits returned to the UK ahead of the end of the three-month visa-free period which ended yesterday (March 31).
This period came into force after freedom of movement came to an end following the UK’s full departure from the EU.
Under the new rules, if Britons are found to be in Spain past this three month period, they could be deported from the country as they would be classed as an undocumented migrant.
Under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement between Britain and the EU, UK nationals who arrived in Spain before December 31, 2020, are entitled to residence rights.
Consequently, residents are eligible to apply for an ID card o make it easier to prove their status in the country.
Around 360,000 British nationals have done so already, but those who have arrived in Spain this year are not entitled to residency rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Residents need to prove they have a registered address, be financially independent and have private healthcare in order to apply for an ID card.