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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Uncertain sunset lives: British migrants facing Brexit in Spain


One of the most concerned groups potentially impacted by the approval of Brexit in 2016 is that of the so-called “Brexpats”. This group of people is composed by at least 784,900 British citizens who are living in the European Union (EU), among which those settling in Spain are the most prominent. Spanish Brexpats are the largest British population outside the borders of the UK, except for in the Commonwealth territories. They have some peculiar characteristics, such as an advanced average age compared to other EU destinations; a large number of people living off the radar; geographical concentration within coastal areas; and a certain social isolation. In this context, the succession of news and potential scenarios that the Brexit process generated in the media and official sources has created a feeling of insecurity about citizenship rights and freedom of movement in this group; rights that, after the withdrawal agreement seem to have disappeared. However, there are still many details that need to be finalised, especially with regard to trade agreements, which may affect in one way or another the group of British residents, not only in Spain but also in other EU nations. The following text analyses the possible changes and challenges that this group will have to face with the new reality beginning in 2021.

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Raquel Huete (Spain)

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