Vice-President of EuroCitizens
EuroCitizens calls on the Spanish Government in office and all political parties to help thousands of British families suffering enormous uncertainty as a result of Brexit.
The association, which represents British citizens who live, work and study in Spain, shares the prevailing concern among British citizens entitled to Spanish nationality but who have been waiting for years to receive it, questioning their future projects.
Young people are the most innocent victims of this slowness: many of them (some 12,000) have grown up in Spain and have now been trapped by the slowness of the bureaucracy. As British citizens, they lose their freedom of movement in Europe and, if they want to keep their right of long-term residence in Spain -really their home- they will not be able to study a career or a Master in another country, just at a time in their life when it is most important to study and get to know other cultures.
Other British residents in Spain are waiting in despair to find out under what conditions they can continue to work in the case of a hard Brexit. Many of them could not vote in the referendum on Brexit because they had been out of the UK for too long, but they are the most affected by Brexit.
EuroCitizens calls on the Spanish administration and the Spanish political parties:
- That Spain recognises that British residents are part of Spanish society, given that they have chosen Spain as their home and want to continue to live here and contribute to society. Many Britons have formed a home and a family with Spaniards and have created or invested in companies in the country.
- That the Spanish Government in office do everything in its power to speed up and make more transparent the process of processing applications for Spanish nationality.
- A survey answered by more than 500 Britons in September 2019 indicates that the approval process is apparently random: the date of granting does not seem to be linked to the date of application, in fact some recent applications are currently being approved, while others are still waiting news: 77% of applications have not received a response.
- Political parties should consider an amendment to Spanish law that would set the minimum uninterrupted residence time -a requirement for nationality- at 5 years, rather than 10, for British already resident in the country. (Spaniards residing in the UK can apply for British nationality after 5 years.)
- That the Spanish Government and political parties consider granting the right to retain their nationality of origin to British applicants for Spanish nationality, in the same way as it does with some other countries and that the United Kingdom does with Spaniards who are granted British nationality.
We are grateful for the support we have received from the Spanish political parties since the referendum on Brexit, as well as the possibility of meeting with different ministries, but now Brexit is imminent and thousands of people endure an enormous uncertainty that affects their work and their studies.
We have no doubt about the good will of the Spanish Administration or its effectiveness, which has been proven in other cases, as in the progress of the Intensive Spanish Nationality Plan per Residence. We are only asking for greater certainty and security regarding our life here and for the Spanish Administration to do everything possible to help British residents get out of this no-man’s-land where many are now.
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