• Spain's news in English
Spain: Brexit Britain must pay for expats' healthcare
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson (r) can expect a rough ride from his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo (l). Photo: Thierry Charlier/AFP

Spain: Brexit Britain must pay for expats' healthcare

The Local · 4 Oct 2016, 10:18

Published: 04 Oct 2016 10:18 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Speaking at a conference in Alicante, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Spain would try to reach a deal for the UK to pay for the healthcare of the estimated 800,000 Brits living in the country. 
“We must reach an agreement for residents to access health services in Spain, but covered by the United Kingdom” he told the conference held by accountancy firm PWC, according to Spanish news site Estrella Digital.
Describing Britain’s historic Euroscepticism as “regressive”, Garcia-Margallo also said the most likely outcome for Britain was a deal with the EU similar to the CETA trade agreement with Canada, European policy website Euractiv reported. He also said that the remaining 27 countries should use Brexit as an opportunity to advance closer political union.
At present, British citizens can use Spanish health services on the same basis as Spaniards. Britons working in Spain and paying into the social insurance system have the cost covered by Spain, but many others such as pensioners have the costs reimbursed by Britain under EU agreements. The cost of this to Britain was £223 million in 2014-15.
In a statement on Tuesday, the British Embassy in Madrid said: "The negotiations to leave the EU are about to begin and it is too soon to say what the outcome will be on this issue. At every step of these negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.”
Spain is expected to use Gibraltar’s status as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotitations, in which Britain is prioritising a reduction in migration from EU countries.
Following Britain’s June vote to leave, Garcia-Margallo called for negotiations on co-sovereignty over the Rock to begin. The British territory voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
Story continues below…
British voters in Spain were also broadly supportive of continued UK membership of the EU, and the result has left many concerned for the future. In the wake of the referendum a surge has been reported in the number of Brits taking Spanish citizenship classes. Over 18,000 people have signed a petition to demand that Spain allows dual citizenship to those Brits that have been resident for over ten years.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in March, starting the two year negotiation period between Britain and the other 27 EU countries. At the end of this period Britain would automatically leave the EU, whether or not a deal has been reached.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available