THE Withdrawal Agreement, which sets out how the UK leaves the EU, has now passed into UK law, and MEPs in Brussels, once it was ratified on Wednesday, broke out into a rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. It means the UK is leaving the EU with a deal today (Friday, 31st January).
As David Sassoli, President of the European parliament, announced the result of the vote, with 621 in favour to 49 against with 13 abstentions, MEPs stood almost as one to sing the Scottish song.
The vote ensures that the UK’s 47 years of membership of the EU will now end at midnight central European time tonight, after years of troubled talks and uncertainty.
This is positive news for UK nationals resident in Spain, including Tenerife and the other Canary Islands, because the Withdrawal Agreement contains some really important protections for their rights:
*You will be able to continue to live and work here
*UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare, as long as they remain living here. This also applies to residents claiming a UK state pension
*Your UK state pension will continue to be uprated
*You will be able to exchange your driving licence until the end of 2020, without taking a driving test, and your Spanish licence will be accepted in the UK when you visit.
These rights will be protected for as long as you live in Spain, provided you are legally resident here by the end of 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement also provides a Transition Period this year, from 31st January until 31st December, during which time nothing will change for UK Nationals living here.
Charmaine Arbouin, UK consul to Andalucia, said: “The approval of the Withdrawal Agreement is a very important step for these UK nationals.
“It provides reassurance on key rights, such as being able to continue to live and work here, and for pensioners to have lifelong healthcare and uprated pensions.
“Alongside those rights, you have obligations, the main one being to make sure you are registered, with a green, residency certificate. This remains a valid document after 31st January, and we will communicate any details on future residency processes, once we have them.”
For further information, visit the Living in Spain Guide on gov.uk.
To view the latest video message from HMA Hugh Elliott to UK nationals, visit: https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/videos/1352265428277649/
To put your questions to HMA Hugh Elliott and Regional Consular Policy Adviser Lorna Geddie, join their Facebook Live Q&A today (Friday) at midday, Central European Time (CET), on facebook.com/britsinspain
Information for UK nationals can also be found at gov.uk/livinginspain
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