Brexit- consequences for Britons in Spain

Brexit-effects on Britons in Spain

By Josu Kelly

Effects on UK citizens

Brexit-effects-Dos AguasOrder of countries where most Britons live in EU countries. Source: BBC[1]

As it is observed in the graph, Spain is the main destination for British citizens among the countries of the EU with an estimated considerable figure of 310.000 people living in the Mediterranean country. However, the uncertainty regarding the outcome of the Brexit, has not only become the crucial concern for many of these people but has also had demographic effects on the British population in Spain, leading to a fall of 157.107 permanent British residents[2]. The main distresses of British people in Spain have to do with; free healthcare agreements and access to pensions which possibly would be abolished; nevertheless, there is a potentially vital consequence to be considered in this process- the right to remain in the country. Spain does not allow the double nationality which would mean Britons would have to renounce to the UK passport while ‘third country’ nationals must prove an annual income of 26.000€[3], which could have major effects for pensioners. Moreover, in the recently created website by the Spanish government regarding Brexit effects on citizens, it clearly warned that key companies such as Iberia or British Airways could lose their right to establish flight connections between both countries[4] making life considerably more difficult for both British and Spanish citizens.

Effects on Spanish economy

The foreign minister Josep Borell explicitly declared recently that a no-deal Brexit would be ‘a disaster for everyone’ which is not far from what the figures suggest. In an extremely compact summary; the UK is the 5th country with highest volume of investment in the country, in 2016 Spain gained a total of 18.696€ million from exports to the UK, 16.9 million British tourists visited Spain that same year, the British are the people who most houses bought in Spain accounting for 10.200 in 2016 which is the 19% of houses purchased by foreigners and in the agrarian sector the exit of the second biggest market in the Union will have effects on the Spanish farming sector[5]. The aforementioned points can have increasingly adverse outcomes due to the foreseen plummeting of the Pound or simply because of the rise of obstacles for Britons to be able to purchase abroad.


[1] BBC. 2019. ‘Brexit: How would no deal affect UK citizens in the EU?’. Written by Peter Laurence. Last modification the 14th of January 2019. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 14.02.2019]

[2] El País. 2018. ‘El repliegue de los británicos de España’. Written by Ignacio Zafra. Last modification the 7th of March 2017. Available online (link) [Last accessed: 14.02.2019]

[3] BBC. 2019. ‘Brexit: How would no deal affect UK citizens in the EU?’. Written by Peter Laurence. Last modification the 14th of January 2019. Available online (link)

[4] El País. 2018. ‘Spanish government launches website to warn about effects of Brexit’. Written by Lucía Abellán. Last modification the 15th of January 2019. Available online (link)

[5] El Expansión. 2017. ‘Los grandes peligros del Brexit para España en diez puntos’. Written by Juanma Lamet. Last modification the 30th of March 2017.Available online (link)