! Murcia Today – Brexit: What does Liz Truss becoming Uk Pm mean for British expats in Spain?


Date of publication: 06/09/2022

Analysis: Will Liz Truss be a peacemaker with the EU or force a hard Brexit? And how will UK nationals abroad be affected?

After a month of deliberation, the Conservative Party in the UK has finally decided to replace disgraced Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will be the new leader of the Conservative Party and the next British Prime Minister, beating rival Rishi Sunak with 57% of the vote.

But what does this mean for British nationals living in Spain or owning holiday homes in the European country?

Truss has always been seen as a Brexit hardliner, even though she originally voted to stay in the 2016 referendum. Indeed, she is widely seen as someone who will sacrifice her personal inclinations to appease the more extreme elements of his party and advance his political career, just like his predecessor Boris Johnson.

As Foreign Secretary, she was involved in the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, which were painfully slow and fraught with tension.

For example, Truss said she was willing to revise Article 16, which would jeopardize the Northern Ireland Protocol, potentially breaking a hard-won peace in Ireland and losing the rights of British citizens in the EU. as they are protected by the bill.

If activated, Article 16 would essentially force a no-deal Brexit, leaving Britons residing in Spain with their current rights to live, work and travel in the EU more restricted than they have already been. since Brexit.

In the past, however, Truss has shown willingness to forge a close working partnership with Spain, which has the largest number of British expats of any EU state.

Last December, Truss met with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares to establish “closer economic, technological and security ties” with Spain and to “support” the 400,000 Britons living in Spain.

“We are important trading partners, with the UK being the biggest European investor in Spain and the UK being the number one destination for Spanish investment,” she said at the time. “By further strengthening our trade ties, Spain and all regions and nations of the UK will benefit.”

However, for the thousands of British expats living in Spain, Truss’s decidedly inward-looking stance, which appeals to his country’s voters, will more likely mean that his main priority will not be the well-being of Britons abroad. ‘foreign.

Since Brexit, British citizens living in Europe have had significant problems with driving licenses and residency issues, to name just two of the main issues, and many feel strongly that they have been let down by the UK government. , as are British citizens in Gibraltar.

In the Brexit referendum, 96% of the people of The Rock voted to Remain, and since then the status of British territory on the south coast of Spain has been muddied by complicated multilateral negotiations between Gibraltar, London, Madrid and Brussels which have already disrupted people’s lives. living in Gibraltar, who frequently have to travel back and forth across the EU border for work and health reasons.

It is for this reason that the Bremain group in Spain will take part in the National Rejoin March in London on Saturday September 10 to “send a warning to the new Prime Minister on the impact of Brexit on the spiraling cost of living crisis. United Kingdom “. to deliver a ‘loud and clear message’ that ‘Brexit has failed’ and to promote ‘Join the EU’ as a ‘general’ call to action.

Image: Liz Truss/Twitter


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