Spain approves adaptation measures for British residents in Spain and Gibraltar

Britons residing in Spain and Gibraltar will be able to continue counting on the health and university systems, as well as enjoying their work or driving permits temporarily, once Brexit enters into force, and as long as the British Government take similar action in the UK.

These and many other measures are detailed in the royal decree approved this Tuesday by the Executive of the socialist Pedro Sánchez to adapt the Spanish legal system to the new situation generated after the end of the transitional period and the definitive withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

These “adaptation measures”, which are intended to make life easier for the British residing in Spain and Gibraltar, are subject to a limited period and require reciprocity from the British authorities, so they could be suspended in two months if the Government of that country does not approve similar ones that favor the Spanish.

In addition, the royal decree specifies that Gibraltarians who were registered as such as of December 31, 2020, may continue to exercise professions for which they are required to be a national of a member state of the European Union, will maintain their employment in the public administration and may continue researching in Spain without the need for new permits.

Your driving licenses will be valid in Spain until June 30, 2021.

The continuity of certain financial services and the activity of transport companies between Spain and Gibraltar is also allowed, and provisions have been made in the field of air and airport services.

However, “all these measures are subject to reciprocity; if the Gibraltar administration does not apply them, the decree-law enables the (Spanish) Government to suspend them for Gibraltar ”, insists the Spanish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Spain and the United Kingdom are immersed in a complex negotiation on the measures that will govern the relationship with Gibraltar, which, according to the Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, must be agreed before the end of 2020.

In several interviews with the media, González Laya insisted on Tuesday that Spain will seek an agreement “until the last second” with the aim of finding “a fit” that guarantees fluidity on the border.

However, in statements to Efe in London, the Gibraltar Minister of Economic Development and Telecommunications, Joseph Bossano, assured that it is “quite possible” that there will not be a border agreement with Spain before December 31, although he said he was willing to continue speaking after January 1 to avoid a “negative impact” on trade.

Bossano’s statement clashes with the discretion shown by the Spanish minister, who avoided giving details of the negotiations because she considered that “when you negotiate in a public square, you have stopped negotiating.”