British expatriates barred from returning to Spain

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British expatriates barred from returning to Spain







© KEYSTONE / EPA / HAYOUNG JEON


British expats living in Spain complained on Sunday that they were denied boarding a British Airways / Iberia flight from London to Madrid on the grounds that their residence certificate was not valid after Brexit.

Photographer Max Duncan, one of those unable to board at London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday, tweeted that several British expats were “desperate that they could not return home”, with the airline telling them that their credentials were known. under the name of “green certificates” were “not valid after Brexit”. In a video posted on the social network, he shows Britons testifying to their incomprehension and their annoyance at not being able to board.

In response to his tweet, the UK Embassy in Spain said “this shouldn’t be happening”. The embassy added that the Spanish authorities confirmed on Saturday evening “that the green residency document will be valid for return trips to Spain as indicated in our travel advice”.

“Communication problems”

“Regarding the complications detected yesterday at Heathrow Airport, we would like to point out that they were due to a specific communication problem with certain airlines, and that they concerned a very small number of travelers. corrected yesterday, “said a spokeswoman for the Spanish Foreign Ministry interviewed by AFP.

She clarified that on Sunday “air traffic between the United Kingdom and Spain proceeds normally for all citizens of Spain and Andorra and for all British citizens residing in Spain or Andorra”.

More than 300,000 Britons are registered in Spain. Most are retirees living in the sun on the south coast, attracted by the good weather and the country’s very low cost of living.

If they reported before December 31, 2020, Brits can keep their right of residence in Spain, but they must have provided a permanent residence address, a Spanish bank account, have health coverage and be able to prove sufficient income. .

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