Category: Brexpats

BBC Radio Leeds – Appeal for Contacts

BBC Radio Leeds – Appeal for Contacts

We have received this email from Sue. If any of you who are from the areas she mentions and are prepared to help, please either pm me your contact details or email us at

Thank you in advance because we are doing all we can to raise awareness of our situation.

Dear Brexpats

I am a producer at the BBC Local Radio Station for West Yorkshire, BBC Radio Leeds.

I stumbled across Brexpats on the Internet and would be interested in making contact with members who were originally living in or from West Yorkshire (Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield and Halifax).

Would you be able to help me with this please?

Best wishes

Sue McGorrigan
BBC Radio Leeds Weekends

UK to have 18 months to strike Brexit deal

UK to have 18 months to strike Brexit deal

UK to have 18 months to strike Brexit deal

The UK will have less than 18 months to finalise its exit from the European Union once talks begin and won’t be allowed to pick and choose what it likes, said the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator on Tuesday.

Michel Barnier said that formal procedures such as parliamentary approvals across Europe will cut into the two-year period that Britain was expecting to have to negotiate the terms of its exit.

In his first press conference since taking the post, Barnier said: “Time will be short. It is clear that the period of actual negotiations will be shorter than two years.”

This comes after Theresa May voiced her intention to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by March next year. A step that will officially start the 2-year countdown for the EU-UK divorce.

Still, Barnier warned that the effective negotiating time will be less, as an agreement will have to have been reached by October 2018, so as to ensure it is in place and enforced by March 2019 – exactly two years from the triggering of Article 50.

“The European Union is ready to receive the (article 50) notification,” Barnier said. “Keep calm and negotiate.”

However, May might find it difficult to trigger article 50, after a court last month decided that Parliament had to give its backing to such a move. The government is contesting the ruling in the Supreme Court, with critics warning of the serious societal instability if the ruling goes against the people’s vote to leave the EU.

Should it confirm that Parliament is to be involved in the process, May’s plans to begin the exit discussions could be delayed indefinitely.

Barnier, who spoke in English and French, said that Britain cannot “cherry pick” policies from the EU, asserting that the single market and its four freedoms, namely freedom of movement, are “indivisible”.

Craig Webb

Associate Wealth Manager
deVere Spain (Marbella)

The “Overton” Window

The “Overton” Window

I have never considered myself a ‘political animal’ and anybody who knows me finds my involvement, albeit on the fringe, quite incredible. But, as a member pointed out to me the other day, I have dipped my toe in the political world and, to be honest, I am finding it a rather interesting learning curve.

As President of my large (500 properties) community for what will be my 11th year now, I suppose I have always been involved at local level with town halls and I have quickly learnt the influence and clout that local borough councils have here. It’s quite unlike the English mayors who, although respected, are always busy opening fêtes and attending receptions; the mayors in Spain are responsible for the municipal budget. Now, bearing in mind they are voted in and might have little experience of budgets and public spending, that probably can cause problems because as we know, there has been so much corruption but the public is now better educated and less afraid to voice their doubts or disagreement, to ‘blow the gaffe’ so to speak!

So, the Referendum is called, I am already angered that I am not allowed to vote in something so historical as to whether the UK exits the EU and that is something that will affect my life and that of my family here in a fellow member state but I’ve lived in Spain for more than 15 years so wasn’t permitted to vote. Again, anybody who knows me will agree that when I get the bit between my teeth, I won’t willingly spit it out! Hence my involvement with Brexit and why I decided, with a couple of friends, to set-up our group BREXPATS IN SPAIN. However, I don’t think anybody will challenge me when I say that I am extremely democratic and respecting of others. That is something I find difficult to accept – the ‘them and us’ that Brexit has seemingly created. I might not like the result but I do respect it. As an educationalist and eternal student, I know how important it is to listen and learn. That’s the only way one can make an informed judgement. Human nature causes us to instantly form an opinion but it takes a humble person to learn and actually then admit to being wrong. I’m not perfect, of course, I wouldn’t be human, and I shall make mistakes or sometimes even say something I regret but I am never too big to admit that mistake and to learn from it but I will always stand my ground and defend the innocent, gullible or defenseless.

I was talking to a young man the other day and commenting that until the political parties can unite within, it is making it so difficult for us to feel a sense of loyalty to any one party. Gone are the days when we inherited our parents’ political view and unquestioningly voted for that same party because our ideals have changed. I said that my parents used to vote Labour then I came along, a bit of a rebel I suppose, because I bucked the family trend and decided to vote Conservative! Even at that young age I must have been destined for a career in education because my parents also changed their opinion and ended up voting Conservative too! And I said I wasn’t a political animal – I must be deluding myself! Anyway, this young man told me about the Overton Window so I decided to look into it. Joseph Overton devised the window back in the 90s for use in the media to explain the public’s acceptance or expectations of something. It identifies concepts as being Unthinkable, Radical, Acceptable, Sensible and Popular. Used in politics it ranges from the left (Socialist or Labour) to Right (Conservative) and the window should sit comfortably somewhere in the middle. Originally the left-wing supporters were the blue-collar workers of low economic earners and as the scale moves to the right, it goes to the right-wing status of the white collar more affluent society in the mid/upper class. The window defines what policies we will comfortably accept and vote for.


Over the years our perceptions have been awakened. We challenge, we do not just unwittingly accept, we aspire for better things rather than the humdrum 9 to 5 existence, we are more ambitious, and what was considered as acceptable, moderate or popular can now be perceived as radical or aspirational. In marketing terms, an aspirational brand is defined as something that a large section of a target audience wishes to own but given its limitations, might never own though still believe it is possible.
As a lecturer of tourism I can equate this to what I have seen with locals of very low incomes in tourist destinations who are envious of the wealthy tourists so try to emulate them. Years ago, my South African family told me how it was very much the done thing for the black locals to carry a briefcase! They probably had little in it but it served as a status symbol to show how well they were doing.


On the other side of the coin, to enable the poor locals to equal the wealthy visitors to their country, they prey on them or even steal from them. All quite unacceptable but further proof that our ambition has taken us beyond that comfortable middle line of the Overton Window.

Now we are experiencing this in the political world. Not content to settle on what we have, we are all aspiring for something that might improve our personal circumstances but we are divided in our opinions of how we should achieve it and until the very politicians of the same party can unite I fear that we will continue to succumb to the aggression, bitterness and hatred for those who do not share our opinions and delay our ever achieving it!

The Overton Window should have stamped out unethical journalism but given that the press is politically-biased it doesn’t leave much room for independent, unbiased reporting! The press today seems to delight in fuelling our dislike for others, propagating hate and the resulting attacks ensue. In my opinion, it really does have a lot to answer for!

Sadly, Joseph Overton omitted one very important word when he devised that window – the one word that should have been at the very centre of that scale, that of RESPECT!




Brexit Officially Word of the Year – Collins dictionary

“Brexit” has emerged ahead of “Trumpism” and “hygge” to be named the word of the year by Collins after seeing an “unprecedented surge” in use.

The dictionary publisher said that Brexit saw its first recorded usage in 2013, but has since increased in use by more than 3,400% this year as the referendum approached in June, and as the ramifications have played out since. Such an increase, said Collins, is “unheard of” since it began monitoring word usage.

“‘Brexit’ is arguably politics’s most important contribution to the English language in over 40 years, since the Watergate scandal gave commentators and comedians the suffix ‘-gate’ to make any incident or scandal infinitely more compelling,” said Helen Newstead, Collins’s head of language content.

Interview with Juan Carlos Maldonado – Mayor of Mijas

La Vanguardia, Spanish national newspaper interviews Sr Juan Carlos Maldonado Mayor of Mijas, speaking about how British expats are grouping together, organised by founding member, Anne Hernandez, Brexpats in Spain

Some 60.000 British residents in Malaga province are voicing their concerns about the future of their pensions and property, and also their access to health care provision.

The BREXPATS IN SPAIN team and experts are embarking on presentations throughout Spain – WE ARE YOUR VOICE!

To find out more about our work please watch this website for updates, and also our Facebook group:


BREXPATS IN SPAIN: Answering the Urgent Questions

BREXPATS IN SPAIN: Answering the Urgent Questions

PENSIONS, properties, taxes and healthcare, it only took the scratch of a pen for British voters to seal an uncertain fate for the country, but the consequences of their decision are very real, particularly for the millions of expatriates living across the EU.

It is preBREXPATS-BANNER-8cisely this ambiguity over the future of legal and financial arrangements that inspired five British expatriates to establish a group with the seemingly simple, but infuriatingly complex mission of answering important questions that simply didn’t exist just three months ago.
More on EuroWeeklyNews

Los residentes británicos de la Costa del Sol quieren ser españoles: así se preparan

Los residentes británicos de la Costa del Sol quieren ser españoles: así se preparan

El confidencial: ¿Sigo siendo británico o me hago español?”. Tras el resultado del referéndum del Brexit, es una de las preguntas clave que se formulan los británicos residentes en la Costa del Sol, una de las comunidades más numerosas del Reino Unido en España. Y una de las respuestas a esta cuestión empezará a funcionar la próxima semana: se iniciarán las clases de la primera academia especialmente diseñada para los británicos que deseen aprobar el examen para obtener la nacionalidad española.

Read on el Confidencial website

Parnell Academy: A New Language School in Mijas

Parnell Academy: A New Language School in Mijas

Logo PA

The Parnell Academy opens a new campus in La Cala de Mijas with a special course for members of BREXPATS IN SPAIN

In view of the Brexit, the Academy has teamed up with BREXPATS IN SPAIN to offer discounts for British Expats who wish to learn Spanish and more about Spain with a special course for members. This course will be of assistance to those whose plan is to become a Spanish National.

In addition, their belief that our group is of such importance at this difficult and uncertain time that the Parnell Academy has committed to BREXPATS IN SPAIN by becoming a sponsor.

signupThe school is a fully fledged academy with a major emphasis on languages. Both English and Spanish are taught as foreign languages whether it be conversational or a complete language course.

Anyone considering the option to obtain Spanish nationality will need to pass an exam on general knowledge of Spanish customs, history, culture, politics, sports etc, and one of the prerequisites is having a command of the Spanish language. This special course will provide a grounding for entering the exam.


An example of the questions asked in the Spanish nationality exam is:

 ¿Cómo se denomina la resolución de la Dirección Nacional de Empleo por la que se fijan anualmente las fiestas laborables para cada año?

Response A: Calendario fiscal

Response B: Calendario españoldiscussion

Response C: Calendario laboral

To pass this exam, a certain amount of studying is needed and not just of the language, as shown in the previous example. The Parnell Academy has created a course specially for BREXPATS IN SPAIN, a Spanish language course that is aimed at preparing the attendee for the citizenship exam as well as helping learn both written and spoken Spanish. The course doesn’t have to be solely for the citizenship exam but rather a get to know Spain and Spanish.


The full price of the course is 70€ per month, and covers two 1-hour classes per week. With discounts, the course costs 60€ a month, and if you pay in advance for three months, this reduces to 50€ per month.

  • 50% discount on the Academy enrolment fee (usually 50€)
  • 5€ discount for being a BREXPATS member
  • 5€ discount for being a registered Mijas resident
  • Pay in advance for 3 months and save a further 10€ per month

Official Opening

The Parnell Academy was officially opened the 7th of September with a ceremony inaugurated by the Mayor of Mijas, Don Juan Carlos Maldonado.

The Parnell Academy is located at:

Edificio Supersol, 1st floor Office 7, Plaza del Bulevar, La Cala de Mijas.



meeting_mayor_Victor NavasBREXPATS IN SPAIN was born in Mijas, from concerns for our future in Spain following the result of the Brexit. In just four weeks we have added 1,700 members to the Association, from provinces all over Spain; Almeria, Barcelona, Cadiz, Mallorca and Tenerife. We have also initiated contacts with other similar groups based in EU countries like France or Italy, and we are working to respond to the concerns of Spanish immigrants who reside in England. On 9th August BREXPATS IN SPAIN met the Mayor of Benalmádena, Victor Navas, and the Councillor for Foreign Residents, Ana Schermanin, who pledged their full support for expats in Benalmádena.

“Many British residents have already seen their pensions severely affected by the devaluation of the pound, and have other concerns for the negative consequences of the ‘Brexit’, such as the need to take private health insurance, or everyday aspects, such as the location of their home, pets or driving licences,” said the Mayor.  “There are many questions and doubts that concern a group in Benalmádena that is 8% of the population.”

“Our Foreigners Department have emphasized in recent weeks contact with the British population on the Brexit issue, a process that will still take time to complete but which awakens many doubts and uncertainties among our British neighbours,” confirmed Ana Scherman, who has stressed the need that those affected be empadronado in order to receive support and advice. “We have established a schedule with the Association to move forward in our partnership with new meetings now set for September and October.”

See the article on the Spanish Website at

Read our articles on Registering on the Padrón and Getting Residency in Spain

SUR: Primeros pasos de Brexpats in Spain

SUR: Primeros pasos de Brexpats in Spain


Unas 200 personas se reúnen en Mijas para constituir el primer colectivo que defenderá los intereses de los británicos en España.
Brexpats in Spain ya es una realidad. Una vez firmada el acta fundacional, a falta tan solo de la inscripción en el registro de asociaciones, nace, tras el Brexit, el primer colectivo que tiene como objetivo defender los derechos de los británicos residentes en España, así como informarles acerca de las ventajas y desventajas que tienen como ciudadanos en nuestro país a raíz de que el Reino Unido salió de la Comunidad Europea.

Read article on DiaroSUR website