A call has been made on Torrevieja council to better protect the interests of the British community in the city in the light of last summer’s Brexit vote. A motion has been presented by the main opposition Partido Popular calling for the authority to work harder to keep the approximately seven thousand British citizens in the city better informed about what is going on over Brexit and the impact that it is likely to have on their lives.
Ex-Foreign Residents councillor, Rosario Martínez Chazarra (pictured), of the PP says that the British citizens have become “an essential part of the local community” and that the uncertainty about the future has allegedly led some of them to decide to leave the area to return back to the UK. The councillor claims that the council have done absolutely nothing to keep British citizens informed about what is going on, and that their main concerns are over health provision, as well as residential status, taxation, and legal issues.
The motion calls on the council to provide as much information as possible, and also wants the Spanish government to protect the rights of Spanish nationals in the UK, and calls for the negotiation of a wide-ranging reciprocal agreement between Spain and the UK, similar to that which Spain has with non-EU countries like Norway and Iceland.
The current Foreign Residents councillor, Carmen Morate of the Green Party, said that it was still early days as it simply was not clear when the UK would be leaving the European Union and under what conditions. Morate pointed out that Norway maintained close ties with the EU despite not being a member, and that locally voluntary organisations like Age Concern acted as a useful contact point for the council to get the views of the local British expat community.