How Brexit Might Affect British Expats in Spain

Last week Europe was shaken by the news of Brexit, aka the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. This brought up a lot of unanswered questions and worries from our fellow expats here in Spain as well as elsewhere in the world. Here’s all you need to know about Brexit and how Brexit might affect British expats in Spain.

Please note that the final decisions of Brexit will be known in two years (although we are aware that this simply means waiting in anxiety without any firm answers on the subject).

Frequent questions from British expats in Spain about Brexit

  • How does the pound decline affect British expats in Spain?

If you are being paid in UK pounds, but living somewhere else, your spendings might be strongly affected.

If you are being paid in another currency and are a frequent visitor of the UK, the decline will have a positive aspect on your wallet.

Pensions will, of course, be negatively affected.

  • Can British expats stay in Spain?

This depends on new Spanish laws. British expats in Spain might need to apply for a Blue Card in the future. However, David Cameron insisted that expats should not worry for at least another two years. You’ll get to worry afterwards. Hurray.  

  • Why does it take two years for rules to be established?

We can thank the Article 50 – the EU constitution provision with specific rules an EU country has to follow if wishing to exit. The decision affects more than just one country and all EU countries must now negotiate and decide how their collaboration with United Kingdom will work. If no deal is created within these two years, UK will automatically exit the EU.

  • So what can I actually do now to prepare?

We’re not sure. The most interesting outcomes will occur in the next two years and you can thank the ‘Leave’ campaign for their super under prepared plans. What you CAN do is start gathering all necessary paperwork to prove you exist.

Why should you care if you’re an American?

  • There will be a global economic impact.

U.S exported more than $56 billion worth of goods in 2015 and UK imported about the same amount to the US. With new economic rules taking place, the global financial system will be affected. It might be harder for you to get certain products.

  • With the decline of the British pound, UK holidays will be cheaper for Americans.

Take advantage!

  • Because caring is important.


We’ll keep on updating this article once we get more information on how this situation might affect British expats in Spain.

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How Brexit Might Affect British Expats in Spain

Mandy Lutman
Full-time Spotahome Blog Manager, part-time guitar playing, travel loving, soul searching hippy. Want to contribute to the blog? Drop us an email at blog(at)! Can’t wait to talk to you! 🙂

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9 Responses

  1. John Churchill says:

    we are currently in SPAIN, planning to buy house, should we proceed or delay purchase until things have settled.

    • Mandy Lutman Mandy Lutman says:

      Hey John!
      This depends on a number of factors and it’s really up to the laws how harsh (if so) they’re going to be. I’m sure the situation with house ownership wouldn’t be that much affected by Brexit, but it’s just impossible to be certain at this point.

  2. Andrew Sheppard says:

    Why re British people living in Spain, etc called Expats when all of the Polish, French, Germans, etc,etc living in England are called Foreigners?

    Surely they are just British foreigners in Europe.

    As someone who has a daughter living and working in the real Spain for the last 6 years (but not in the so-called Expat ghettos) the whole idea that the British think that their emigrants are superior to our immigrants is both very arrogant and insulting to other Europeans.

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