Expats in Spain ‘forced to give up British citizenship’ post-Brexit as ...

BREXIT has unsettled legions of Britons living in Spain, with one UK investor claiming she was "forced to give up her British citizenship".

PUBLISHED: 15:37, Mon, Jan 11, 2021 | UPDATED: 15:45, Mon, Jan 11, 2021

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Brexit: British expats in Spain share their thoughts on leaving EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to reach a miraculous deal with the EU on Christmas Eve, just days before the end of the transition period. This was expected to build on the security the withdrawal agreement created for many expats living across the continent, which protected UK citizens as long as they were workers, students or financially self-sufficient or already have the right of permanent residence. As the Gov.uk website explains: “If you were legally resident in Spain before January 1, 2021, you will be able to stay. “You must ensure you are correctly registered as a resident.”

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After living in the EU country for five years, Britons who were in Spain before the transition period ended can apply for permanent residence.

However, just days after the UK cut all ties with the EU, expats already began experiencing difficulties entering Spain.

UK nationals hoping to return to their Spanish homes were prevented from boarding their flights as airlines claimed their proof of residency documents were now invalid.

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Spain banned all travel from the UK — except for nationals and British citizens with residency rights — after the outbreak of the new coronavirus variant.

This rejection came despite Spanish and British officials agreeing that a certificate proving EU citizenship with a foreign national identification number, issued by Spain, is valid for Britons.

Expats in Spain ‘forced to give up British citizenship’ post-Brexit as difficult choices loomExpats in Spain ‘forced to give up British citizenship’ post-Brexit as difficult choices loom (Image: Getty)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson signing the Brexit trade agreement with the EUPrime Minister Boris Johnson signing the Brexit trade agreement with the EU (Image: Getty)

According to Dispatches Europe, there is no protection for UK nationals arriving in Spain in 2021 at the moment.

However, Spain was the first country to provide UK residents new cards to document their long-term residence status.

Spain is also one of the most popular EU destinations for British expats — so was expected to have a firm system in place for its growing UK community.

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