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Brits in Spain: 'We pay our taxes and we want to integrate'

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Brits in Spain: 'We pay our taxes and we want to integrate'
British people enjoy a drink on a terrace in Orihuela, the Spanish city with more British residents than anywhere else in Spain. Photo: Jose Jordan/AFP.
10:09 CEST+02:00
The Spanish Costas might have a reputation for being "Little Britain" in the sun given the number of UK nationals living there but some British residents argue the stereotype is unfair and that many Brits are well integrated in the Spanish way of life.

After The Local published an article recently highlighting the number of towns in Spain where Britons outnumber Spaniards it sparked a flurry of comments about the Spanish costas just being home to "loud-mouth Brits".

"Benidorm is Britidorm," said one social media commenter, while another described the area as "Little Britain".

But others hit back, insisting that the reputation of Brits living on the south coast of Spain as being all Brexit voters eating fish 'n' chips and not speaking a word of Spanish was inaccurate and unfair.

Lee Squires, who runs the Daisy Chain Florist, Playa Flamenca on the Orihuela Costa, in the province of Alicante gave his view to The Local.

"Most people only want to hear about the bad things here but it's changing slowly and we just need a voice.

"There are lots of nice tax-paying Brits living on the Costas who are fully integrated and love their chosen home in Spain.

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"Things are changing especially in the Orihuela Costa with many mixed nationality couples and families and many are starting their own businesses so we shouldn't be all tarred with the same brush.

"There maybe certain age groups that integrate easier for example those who have spent most of their younger years in Spain going to school here mixing from the start with Spanish people. And those who have made Spain their home with a view to staying here permanently, maybe running a business or bringing up their own children as mixed nationalities."

"Myself and wife have a small business here, a florist, and pay every tax asked of us and many of our friends also do, we have several Spanish-British couples as friends who have started their own businesses and lead a Spanish life.

"There are lots of young people now populating the Orihuela Coast who pay their tax and work hard and mix very well with Spanish locals.

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"It does hurt when people suggest that Brits here just eat fish 'n' chips etc and to a part it's true but there is also another side that is never mentioned where the British and other Europeans eat the Spanish cuisine.

"There are obviously people here who care about Brexit and the UK. Maybe they have worries about pensions and exchange rates but there is a growing number of younger families moving here and many already here who want and do integrate into the Spanish way of life.

"As long as people care about where they live i.e work and pay taxes and respect Spanish laws and traditions it would be fine but like anywhere in the world there is good and bad" 

 

 
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