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Brexit. Citizen's Rights

Brexit - Citizen's Rights

Spain is the chosen country of residence of the largest community of British citizens in Europe and a significant number of Spanish citizens also reside in the United Kingdom. As a result of Article 50 the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, an event that will impact on the rights of both citizens living in our respective countries.

Negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom on an agreement regulating their withdrawal and the future relationship gave rise to the text of the Withdrawal Agreement, approved by the European Council on 25 November 2018. However, in a vote in the British Parliament on 15 January 2019 the Withdrawal Agreement was rejected. As a result, it is possible that a new negotiation period may be opened (you may consult any advances in this area on the web site of the EU Commission).

The Government of Spain has prioritised the need to protect the rights of its citizens who have exercised their right to freedom of movement prior to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Given the possibility of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement, the Government of Spain has adopted a new Regulation - Real Decreto-Ley 5/2019, de 1 de marzo, por el que se adoptan medidas de contingencia ante la retirada del Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte de la Unión Europea sin que se haya alcanzado el acuerdo previsto en el artículo 50 del Tratado de la Unión Europea - which contains a series of contingency measures that mitigate the impact this scenario would have for its citizens and the economic enterprises.

This was emphasised in a statement issued by the President of the Spanish Government on 12 December 2018, "Whatever the scenario we face, what I can guarantee you all, is that the Government of Spain has adopted the necessary measures to ensure that, in case of no deal of the Withdrawal Agreement, the impact on Spain and its citizens is as low as possible".

As part of the above process, the Ministry of Work, Migration and Social Security is providing citizens with free information on residence and social security rights, as a result of the departure of the United Kingdom, differentiating between the two possible scenarios as to whether this is done with or without Withdrawal Agreement in place.