bjn wrote: ↑
Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:43 pm
I'm happy to laugh at the Brexit voters being chucked out, but I'm curious as to the reasons the Spanish have turned down applications to remain. Some folks will probably have be caught up by that without being Two-World-Wars-And-One-World-Cup types.
I think it's important to remember that the majority, quite likely the vast majority, of British people who live in the EU did not vote for Brexit. It annoys me a bit when the press dredge up the worst Brexit-supporting moron in a football shirt
The main reason why people will have been turned down, by Spain anyway, is that they had to be "legally resident" in Spain by the end of December 2020. And for anyone who arrived before about the middle of 2020, that meant they should have applied for residency a lot f.cking earlier. An an EU citizen, if you move to Spain you are meant to submit your application for residency within three months of arriving. There is lots and lots of leeway on this, especially with COVID, but you are expected to make a good-faith attempt before the end of your first full year, if only because you probably told your previous country's tax authorities that you'd moved and you're expected to pay tax somewhere.
There are people (cf. also posts by Opti passim
) who have been here 10 or 20 years, never got a NIE number(*), and so never paid tax or NI or registered or got an ITV (MOT) for their car. They used an EHIC for their medical cover and if anything bad happened they could fly back to Blighty and return with no checks of their passport.
However, there are real human dramas here. Some of the people involved are getting on a bit, and the Spanish bureaucracy is difficult to navigate even for Spanish people. And yes, many of the Brits don't speak much Spanish, but it turns out that moving to another country is hard. Do you think it's a good thing that a hospital in a large UK city will have interpreters for elderly Asian patients who only speak Urdu or Gujarati? Yes? So do I. Now ask what's available for Brits who move to Spain age 60 and never had learning a foreign language on their agenda either. (Again, of course, the racist ones, the ones who voted for Brexit because "This [sic] country is overrun with imigrunts" can f.ck right off, but they are a minority; they just make for excellent entertainment on TV.)
The situation is quite different in France, which never implemented legislation in line with directive 2004/38/EC and has always allowed EU citizens to just show up and start living there. France, like the UK but unlike most other EU countries, has no great tradition of an efficient population register (it's the only major EU country that still runs a census) and so was happy to not require EU citizens to register. So if you've been in France since 2010 without ever going to a police station to register, that's not a huge deal; you will normally have come onto the radar of the tax people one way or another and been basically "en règle".
(*) Everyone has a national ID number in Spain. It's assigned at birth for citizens or when you first need one to function in the country for immigrants; quite a few English football fans have been given one over the years because the police assign you one when they arrest you. It ought to be Orwellian, and of course it was invented by Franco, but in practice its a marvellous way of avoiding ambiguity, because there's a lot of people called Maria Gonzales about.