A meeting was held on Thursday 21st June, at the town´s Centro de Usos Múltiples, on the topic which is of great concern to many, Brexit.
Those present included the Mayor, Rosmari Cano, Lucas Mayo, Mojácar’s Councillor for Foreigners, our British Consul Charmaine Arbouin, BREXPATS Vice President Richard Hill, Ignacio Pellicer Mollá the Legal Advisor from Pellicer & Heredia, Michael Davies from Davies Abogado and, Javier Duran, from the Almería Extranjero Office.
Following introductions and a welcome by Richard Hill, the Mayor gave an opening speech, thanking BREXPATS for holding this very important meeting in Mojácar, stressing the important of the British people to the town.
The first part of the meeting covered registration, with Javier Duran on hand to answer questions, with confirmation that Residencia is required for people who reside continually for three months or more in Spain. Some queries from the audience were clarified on N.I.E. and the Padrón as well as eligibility for medical cover and Residencia requirements when applying.
It was stressed that the N.I.E. number is for legal transactions such as buying a house or a car and can be obtained by anybody, but it does not grant any resident rights. As individual cases vary so much, Lucas Mayo additionally advised those who need more advice and wish to discuss these matters further that he is available every Thursday morning at Mojácar Town Hall.
Charmaine Arbouin then went on to explain the role of the Consulate and how important she feels it is to get out and about to answer queries at events such as this, especially following the Brexit Vote in June 2016. She, (along with others on the day) stressed that most important thing you can do as an expat living in Spain is to make sure you are fully legally registered (Padrón, N.I.E, Residencia, Fiscal) as well as changing your U.K. driving licence for a Spanish one.
She strongly advised that if anyone is not registered yet, to do it sooner rather than later to avoid problems post Brexit. In the case of Mojácar, it would appear that only around 700 British people have Residencia, although many more are on the Padrón.
She went on to confirm that U.K. state pensions will remain indexed linked, but the contentious issue of voting rights and standing as a councillor here is still under discussion. However, it was emphasised that in anticipation of the outcome that you make sure you are on the voting register at the Town Hall. Issues surrounding freedom of movement have been deferred to a later date, to be discussed after October.
Richard Hill talked about BREXPATS in Spain, their ethos and campaigns they have on behalf of U.K. citizens living in Spain. He repeated the importance of maintaining our right to vote and to take steps to be fully registered.
He advised everyone to keep informed with the facts not rumour by looking at and getting updates from www.gov.uk and BREXPATS.es and BREXPATS in Spain Facebook groups as the more members the organisation has, the more their voice will be heard.
It was a meeting with as many questions as answers in the current uncertain times but, a number of issues were clarified and the event was welcomed by the attendees with the knowledge that there are those working hard on behalf of the British population in Spain.