SPANISH authorities and business leaders have denied Brexit claims of a mass British exodus from Spain . However, there is still considerable uncertainty about the future of British residents
SPANISH business leaders have denied claims by the Brexit of a mass British exodus
Claims Britons are leaving because their future rights to stay in the European Union nation are not guaranteed have been dismissed. However, euroscepticism is increasing in Spain due to the country’s continued financial crisis. Officials are being urged to resolve the residency fears to prevent a future exodus.
More than 130,000 Britons are said to live in the Costa Blanca region which runs along the Alicante coastline. However, disputed local census reports claim the population is dwindling suggesting the Britons are leaving in their droves.
In San Miguel de las Salinas, where British people outnumber the locals, it is estimated that over 40% have not reregistered their residency in the last eight years.
In Benitatxell, 124 kilometres to the north, it is said approximately 50% have not reregistered. In Benissa, the population has dropped by 44%, in Teulada by 49%, as well as a 55% drop in San Fulgencio.
Since the financial crisis, the Spanish government have introduced new tax rules for foreign residents. One of the principal mandatory changes requires all foreign registered residents to register their overseas assets, including all properties and other investments. As a consequence, many foreign residents no longer renew their residency and therefore no longer appear in the annual Spanish census. However, most of them still live or spend a considerable amount of their time there each year in Spain.
This is probably why many locals dispute the claim that Britons are leaving in their tens of thousands.The same census data implies that the Spanish population in the region is growing by an average of 5% pa.
However, locals strongly dispute the claims Britons are leaving in their droves.
Sonja Dietz, the president of the Business Circle in Marina Alta, told El Confidencial: “Nothing is happening. “There is no mass British exodus on the Costa Blanca, the data is inflated for political reasons. “Our businesses have not been affected, not even the real estate. “In fact, prices are rising. “The only thing we have noticed is that the cheap housing in the area is over and that has slowed the arrival of new residents a bit.”
The Institute of Economic Studies, estimates of the Province of Alicante (INECA), say Britons add more than €2,300 million to the province each year.