The British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott has welcomed the latest Brexit announcement to provide information and assurances for the end of the transition period on the 31st December.
He said that “supporting UK Nationals is one of our highest priorities. The organisations receiving funding to support British people with their residency are making a huge difference and, since 2017, we have organised nearly 300 outreach events.”
The UK Government has written to 365,000 UK Nationals living in Europe with advice on the actions they need to take to prepare for the end of the UK transition period on 31 December. This includes 102,087 letters issued to people on DWP’s database in Spain.
The letters, sent to UK State Pensioners and benefit recipients, give advice on how to register for residency and healthcare, exchange driving licences and check new passport validity rules online. It is one of the largest-ever mail outs by the UK Government to UK nationals living in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
In addition the UK Government has also allocated £3 million for charities and community voluntary organisations across Europe to assist UK Nationals that may need additional help in applying for residency. This includes potentially at-risk groups, such as pensioners and disabled people and those living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties.
In Spain, three charities – Age in Spain, Babelia and IOM – have received funding and by the end of September over 37,000 people had accessed their services.
A key priority for the UK embassy is to provide accurate and up to date information much of which was through outreach events until the Covid restrictions came in. The ambassadaor said that although these were “currently limited by COVID restrictions, we continue to provide support through our Facebook Live Q&As.
The next one is on 1st December at BritsinSpain Facebook .
The UK Government has been running a public information campaign featuring online, radio and newspaper adverts across Europe infoming UK Nationals of the actions they need to take.