Spain has seen a massive tourist boom but the shadow of Brexit and what it means is hanging over ex-pats, including many from Huddersfield, writes Brian Hayhurst.
Proof of a continued boom in tourism up and down the Costas is indicated at Malaga airport by the 10 million more visitors than last year between January and August, and a record number of private jets landing this summer.
This boom is no doubt riding high on the sickening intrusion by the actions of terrorists in other popular destinations.
The main issue for the 280,000 registered Britons like us having settled here over the past 30 years or more is what next after Brexit from both Spanish and UK governments?
Let’s hope the rest of Spain takes note of Malaga city which is welcoming British businesses and people with open arms after the UK finally leaves the EU.
In an attempt to try and answer, or discuss some of the possible outcomes, groups like ‘Brexpats in Spain’ are forming and attract growing audiences.
We have yet to attend one, but my thoughts are that no-one knows what will happen after Article 50 kicks in. The only certainty is uncertainty!
Health care, driving licences, pets, schooling and businesses etc. will all need careful attention.
One option to secure a life here would be to give up a UK passport, learn Spanish and fulfil a lengthy complex list of requirements and then become a Spanish citizen. Pensions could be frozen and for many elderly folks and the plummeting value of the pound crisis is not helping. The thought of uprooting and returning to Britain would not be a welcome prospect.
Another contentious issue linked to Brexit is the Sovereignty or joint sovereignty and the 300-year-old dispute over Gibraltar which rumbles on. Even King Filipe has waded in to support Spain’s claim on this thriving British Colony but 99% of Gibraltarians want it to stay as it is.
There is no real government here at present after two general elections as the four main parties squabble avidly, leaving acting Prime Minister Rajoy with little or no influence and a third election will be held, wait for it, on Christmas Day!
But somehow amidst the corridors of power it looks like a change/abolition of the monstrous inheritance law is likely next year. Currently relatives of a deceased have to pay horrendous taxes – tens of thousands of Euros – before they can take over, for example, a property.