— UK in Spain (@ukinspain) October 23, 2017
Following the narrow decision by those that voted in last year’s EU Referendum in the UK which unfortunately resulted in victory for those calling for Brexit, there has been real worry among many citizens across the European Union. In the coming years, as the UK begins the unprecedented process of separation from the EU, this leaves a lot of doubt as to the future of those who have chosen to make their lives abroad.
For many of us, the freedom of movement afforded to EU citizens, including the right to live and work abroad has offered huge socio-economic opportunities. People across all EU member states have been able to completely transform their lives either on a temporary or permanent basis, through moving to different EU states. In much of the pro-Brexit press, it was made to seem as if only those from outside of the UK were benefiting from this. In fact there are approximately 1.3 million British expatriates living in other EU member states, including around 319,000 living in Spain (Telegraph, 2017). This of course includes many thousands living and working in the Canary Islands, such as here in Tenerife.
Luckily, despite worries of loss of citizens rights, as things stand at the moment it seems highly unlikely that British expatriates living in other EU nations will be forced to leave or lose their rights to healthcare, or their homes. One of the major reasons for this is to avoid retaliatory measures from the UK, where around 3 million EU citizens are currently living. To avoid diplomatic and economic catastrophe, it is very likely that British citizens will be allowed to carry on living in other EU states and vice versa, even after Brexit has been fully realised. To help allay fears, Simon Manley, the British ambassador to Spain recently released the video statement above regarding negotiations between the British government and the EU parliament.
This is a great relief to all of the British citizens who have chosen to live across Europe. It also shows that Tenerife and the Canary Islands remains a fantastic destination to move to and invest in, especially with such high levels of interest from tourists worldwide. The Canary Islands are more popular than ever and continue to enjoy a massive growth in numbers of visitors, leading to an ever greater boost to the economy. This in turn will lead to further investment by the government of the Canary Islands in infrastructural improvements and other enhancements to life here on these beautiful islands!