Benidorm will be a ghost town! British expats could abandon Spain – new restrictions

Brexit: British expat discusses difficulty of living in Spain

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Under recent Spanish visa rules, Britons will need to possess a valid ETIAS visa waiver before their arrival in the country. Madrid has set out new measures for long-term British tourists who do not hold a visa. Britons without a Spanish visa will now be limited to stays of only 90 days within a given 180 day period.

British holidaymakers and property owners in Spain could begin to “look elsewhere” when it comes to holidaying in the country and maintaining a property there.

Estate agents have warned Britons may sell their Spanish properties because of the new immigration rules introduced after the UK left the European Union.

Referring to the new visa restrictions one Express.co.uk reader called Kouroi commented saying, “Spain’s Foreign Minister said ‘Spain loves British people’.

“But what she actually meant was ‘we want your money!'”

Another Express.co.uk reader said: “Benidorm for one will be a ghost town without the Brits.”

Another Briton, commenting in Express.co.uk said: “Millions of UK tourists used to visit Spain each year.

“Plenty of other countries in the world would welcome UK tourists for the money.”

Speaking about the treatment of British citizens by Spain and the EU one Express.co.uk reader said: “The EU and European countries have always underestimated the Brits.

“We don’t shout, jump up and down when we don’t get what we want.

“The EU view this as a weakness when in reality is just stiffens our resolve.

“People of the UK have had enough of the aggressive EU over the past 47 years.

“We Brits have a long memory and we don’t easily forgive or forget those that intend to do us harm.”

Robert Barnhardt, who runs an estate agency in Fuengirola, spoke to Express.co.uk and said that many retired Britons “could leave Spain in droves”.

Adding that many have decided to sell their villas and apartments in Spain because of the new rules.

Mr Barnhardt said: “But now they can only come for 90 days and also a lot of them used to drive down.

“The Spanish are now getting pretty strict on foreign plated cars and mainly British cars.”

As of 2020, there were over 360,000 UK residents living in Spain.

Brexiteer Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie, senior research executive at Get Britain Out, told Express.co.uk: “Whether the actual policing of things and the 90 days that people stay.

“When it comes down to it it is down to the Spanish border police to make those decisions.

“If the consistency is that the people are being turned away, rejected from entering Spain then Brits will look elsewhere to go on holiday.

“Or look elsewhere to buy properties abroad.

“Alicante and that whole area of Spain will sufferer the consequences of that.”

Concerning the new Spanish visa rules a UK Government spokesperson said: “The rights of UK nationals to continue living, working and studying in their EU Member State are protected by law.

“Anyone legally resident before 1 January 2021 can stay but should register their residence.

“The UK Government has been running a public information campaign across Europe to inform UK nationals about the actions they may need to take to secure their rights and access to services.

“This includes outreach events, adverts on social media and in newspapers, and support through our network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.”

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