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After the results of the referendum this week, which confirmed that Britain was exiting the EU there has been a lot of uncertainty amongst Expats in Marbella. Due to the amount of scaremongering circulating the internet and via word of mouth, we have decided to explain exactly what leaving the U.K means for British Expats in Marbella.

There are currently approximately 1.3 million Brits living and working in Europe. Spain is the most popular country for relocation, especially the Costa del Sol and cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Marbella’s sunny climate and stunning beaches are the biggest draw for expats – with Ireland and France following closely behind. In recent years the British Expats who carefully planned their move to Marbella and the surrounding areas of Nueva Andalucia, Benahavis and Estepona,  have been able to take advantage of the right to free movement and employment. According to article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, Britain has two years to arrange new deals with EU member states – but in the meantime what should British Expats in Marbella be aware of, now the UK has voted to leave the EU?

Expats Right To Purchase Property In Marbella

Thousands of British expats living in Marbella own property and it is likely that they will be able to continue to do so. The primary issue to be aware of is a potential change in inheritance and tax laws for existing and new property owners. Likewise, if the pound remains weak many expats may take advantage of the opportunity to invest in the British property market. One of the major untruths flying around since the results of the Brexit vote were released on Friday, is that British expats in Marbella would have to return back to England immediately and that they would no longer be able to work at their current jobs, as well as scaremongering around having to obtain a visa to be able to travel to and from Spain on holiday.

British Expats Working In Marbella

Working in Marbella could become more difficult for British expats if they are asked to comply with more restrictive rules when it comes to work permits and setting up businesses. They may lose their automatic right to work within the EU area and be required to apply for Blue Cards.

It is highly unlikely that those already living and working in Spain will be deported back to the UK – but it could become considerably more difficult for new expats to find work and be able to live here on a permanent basis. They could be subjected to the rule which currently exists in 15 EU member states, stating that you can only be employed if no other suitable candidate has been found within the EU area.

George Peretz QC, an expert in EU law has stated “[The] Brexit vote throws into serious doubt the rights of UK expats to work in EU countries, “Everything depends on the arrangements that the UK enters into with the EU after withdrawal.”


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