A Brexit Expat in Spain

June 24th was a big day for many Britons, Europeans and the rest of the world. The UK voted to leave the EU and many were left heartbroken, shocked and ashamed. Of course over half the country who voted leave were ecstatic, proud and amazed when they got their result, apart from maybe hearing the many lies which came out hours after the results were announced.


How I feel as a British expat in Spain

After spending many hours reading the news on June 24th, checking social media and talking to friends, I know that day will be remembered forever.  My Spanish friends were also shocked with the results and I hope their opinions on the UK as a country hasn’t completely changed for the worst.

brexit refugees welcome
Well at least Madrid still welcomes us!

Most of the people I know had voted to remain in the European union and it occurred to me that most of the older generation had just made a huge decision about our futures, and won.

brexit voters age

I am still proud to be British, and I don’t hate my country. I still know that most of my family and the people I love are saddened to have left the EU and are praying for the transition to somehow not go through or for the petition for a 2nd vote to be possible. I am happily living my life here in Spain and have been for the last 2 years. I just hope that it could not affect me too much or stop me from living here with my boyfriend, my friends and having the job I want.

How will these results affect me?

For the moment, not at all. Of course things will happen very slowly (when they actually begin) and I don’t think its necessary to get overly stressed or panicked about it. Some of the main changes which could affect me include:

1.Free health care.

I can claim free health care here as I pay the social insurance, which you have to do when working in Spain.

2. Work permit/visa to work in EU.

I already have a job here but its possible that I could have to get a visa to continue in the future, which I hope wouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

3. Unemployment wage.

It’s likely that if I work in Spain (or any other EU country) and earn unemployment wage, I won’t be able to transfer it to the UK, as I could do before. Vice versa, If I work in the UK It could be hard to then transfer the unemployment to Spain or another European country.

4. Pensions. 

The same as the above goes for Pensions for the older generation. They won’t be able to use it in another EU country.

All of these regulations are pending and who knows what will be decided in the coming weeks.brexit On another note, I’ve seen plenty of British expats posting on social media in a shoutout for Spanish citizens looking for a marriage partner, I don’t think it will come to that, but you never know 😉

The only good thing for me living in Spain and travelling back to UK to visit friends and family is that my Euro is worth more now. Whereas for them visiting me their pounds are worth less 😦

brexit pound


What can we do now?

Just get on with it. We’ve had one day of the country gone wild, twitter crashing due to the amount of emotional tweeters and the general shock which was spread across the nation. I just hope that the outcome of this is not all bad. We have to remember to stick together, I do not think its right for those who voted on opposite sides to begin to feel hatred towards one another, that is certainly NOT a way to go forward.

I’d personally love a 2nd chance to vote again as I feel many peoples votes were based on lies.

Even the leave voters were surprised it would actually happen and want to change their vote.

One thing that made me almost cry was reading that the biggest Google search in the UK on June 24th was actually ‘What is the EU?’ Sorry, YOU FUCKING WHAT?

Cartoon by Marian Kemensky, Slovakia/Austria.
Cartoon by Marian Kemensky, Slovakia/Austria.

I think it should be mandatory to go to an educational class and pass a test before being allowed to vote. We should all fully understand what our vote means, voting for something we don’t understand is worse than not voting at all.

So, keep your chin up, learn about what the Brexit really means and don’t spread hate, spread education and love! 🙂


8 thoughts on “A Brexit Expat in Spain

  1. If you have voted already why should you want to vote again? The extra vote should be for those of us who have lived here for over 15 years and weren’t able to. I’ve been here 40 years and yes I’m married to a Spaniard but I still recieve my pensión from Britain as I worked there before I came here. It’s also my right as I still hold a British Passport so I am still British and as they informed me always would be.


    1. Hi S. Preston! That’s great that you’re living in Spain and getting your British pension, the problem is that maybe you won’t be able to in the future due to not being in the EU. Receiving your British pension in Spain could become impossible.

      The point of a second vote would be to repeat with new rules of broader borderlines and to give those who are now regretting their vote (as it was based on a lie or voters who didn’t think we could actually leave the EU) another chance.
      Quote from prtition for 2nd referendum page:
      ‘We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based on a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum,’:

      I hope you can continue living in Spain and receiving your pension whilst being British with a British passport, but now UK has left the EU, I can tell you this is one of the issues Britons face. As I stated in my post. I am in your situation and for both of our sakes, I hope this doesn’t change.


  2. It is a scary and precarious time here in England. Whilst I agree with your post in the main, those of us who want to make sure we live in a more unified UK and are fighting against the hatred that is unfortunately taking over right now won’t be holding on to the statement to ‘Just get on with it’. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place. We can’t change the decision (much as many think we can) but we can help to be better people and call out those who are creating divisions through hatred. I’m more bothered about that right now than what the pound is worth – although that is, of course, troubling.


    1. Thanks for your comment Lisa! You’re right, it’s hard to ‘just get on with it’ it’s important to fight for what we care about and stick together with those who can make something good come from this. But we should also not get held back or be too negative, as this isn’t the answer either. I have heard about some terrible racial abuse since the Brexit and it disgusts me. We are still the Britain who welcomed any expats to our country and the majority will continue to do so. Despite what happened last week, let’s hope we can make Britain better again in the years to come…


  3. I’m visiting Europe for the first time and so many things have been happening while I am here. I will actually be in London tomorrow and I’m truly curious to see how life is carrying on. We are just as interested in the US about what’s going on. You’re carrying a great attitude and wish you nothing but the best.

    Courtney |


    1. Hi Courtney! Thanks for your comment, I hope that things in London have calmed down a bit and we stop hearing some of the awful racist attacks I’ve read about over the last few days. Enjoy your trip there and keep positive! 🙂


  4. Courtney, I’m sure you’ll love your trip to London. Whilst racial abuse and stupidity is going on, the decent citizens of England are all trying to go about our usual business. I’m sure you’ll feel welcome and have a great time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s