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BREXIT

BREXIT

Two thirds of Spaniards want Britain to remain in EU

European citizens are more concerned about a so-called Brexit than the British people themselves, said a survey published on Wednesday, two months before Britain votes on whether to leave the European Union.

Two thirds of Spaniards want Britain to remain in EU
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

The survey of five European countries by TNS found 78 percent of Germans, more than two-thirds of Spaniards and almost six out of 10 French wanted Britain to stay in the EU.

That far outstripped the 38 percent of Britons who backed staying in the union, only slightly more than the 34 percent who want to leave, according to TNS. Some 28 percent were still undecided.

The question will be put to a referendum on June 23rd, when the British public will vote on whether to stay part of the 28 member European Union or strike out alone.

The issue has split the British government, with Prime Minister David Cameron facing viscious opposition from senior figures in his own party such as Justice Secretary Michael Gove and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Brits currently expect the 'In' camp to win it – 40 percent expect Britain to stay in the EU, according to Wednesday's survey, compared to 26 percent who expect voters to back leaving.

Produced by Le Figaro from findings by TNS

Their European counterparts were more optimistic, with 47 percent of Germans, 48 percent of Spaniards and 44 percent of Poles predicting Britain will avoid an exit.

Only in France did more people expect Britain to go than not, with 52 percent predicting a Brexit and 48 percent saying the referendum will back staying.

Asked about the consequences of of leaving, only a tenth of Brits said the EU's economy would improve while 38 percent it would deteriorate and 21 percent said nothing would change.

Their continental counterparts were less hopeful, however. Two-thirds of Germans, 43 percent of Spaniards, 39 percent of Poles and 33 percent of French predicted a Brexit would hurt the EU's economy.

The survey, carried out by TNS between April 4-14th simultaneously in France, Germany, Spain, Poland and Britain, was published in French media on Wednesday.

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BANKING

Banking giant Barclays to close all accounts of Brits living in Spain

UK nationals living in Spain have begun to receive letters from their bank telling them that their accounts will be closed, in an apparent post-Brexit change. Have you been affected?

Banking giant Barclays to close all accounts of Brits living in Spain

Customers of Barclays Bank who are living in Spain and other EU countries have been receiving letters telling them that their UK accounts will be closed by the end of the year. 

A number of readers of The Local’s network of news websites have contacted us to report receiving either letters or messages in their online banking telling them that their accounts would be closed because of their residency in Spain or in other countries in the EU.

A Barclays spokesperson told The Local: “As a ring fenced bank, our Barclays UK products are designed for customers within the UK.

“We will no longer be offering services to personal current account or savings customers (excluding ISAs) within the European Economic Area. We are contacting impacted customers to give them advance notice of this decision and outline the next steps they need to take.”  

Customers are being given six months to make alternative arrangements. The changes affect all personal current accounts or savings accounts, but do not affect ISAs, loans or mortgages.

During the Brexit transition period Barclays closed Barclaycard accounts of customers in Spain, but did not indicate any changes to standard bank accounts.

READ MORE: 

Around the same time several other British high street banks began closing accounts of British customers who live in the EU, although with the exception of Barclaycard customers in Spain who were largely spared.

Many UK nationals who live in Spain maintain at least one UK bank account – in addition to a Spanish account – sometimes just for savings but others use their accounts regularly to receive income such as pensions or income from rental property or – for remote workers – to receive income for work done in the UK.

Not having a UK bank account can make financial transactions in the UK more complicated or incur extra banking fees.

READ MORE: What are the best UK banks for Brits in Spain?

Since Brexit, the UK banking sector no longer has access to the ‘passporting’ system which allows banks to operate in multiple EU countries without having to apply for a separate banking licence for each country.

And it seems that many UK high street banks are deciding that the extra paperwork is not worth the hassle and are withdrawing completely from certain EU markets. 

When British banks began withdrawing services from customers in the EU back in 2020, a UK government spokesman told British newspaper The Times that “the provision of banking services is a commercial decision for firms based on a number of factors” so Brits in Spain probably shouldn’t hold their breath for any help from that direction.

READ ALSO: Premium Bond holders in Spain may have to cash in if no UK bank account

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