BREXIT in case of NO DEAL

Contingency Regulations in Spain for BREXIT in case of No Deal

The withdrawal process of the United Kingdom (BREXIT) commenced following the referendum held on 23rd June 2016 and the subsequent notification to the European Council on 29 March 2017. Which means they should leave the UE on 29th of March 2019.

At present there is no withdrawal agreement which should establish the conditions for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and from the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

In the proposed agreement which has not been signed and ratified by the UK a transition period is provided up to 31st of December 2020 as to facilitate the withdrawal and sufficient time to negotiate and conclude the agreement that will govern any future relations between the two parties.

If the agreement is not ratified, the United Kingdom will have the same status as a 3rd world country in Spain.

Therefore the Government of Spain has adopted certain measures approved by royal decree 5/2018 of the 1st of March to guarantee certain rights to Expats in case the UK leaves the  EU without a deal.

This will come into force when the withdrawal has taken place i.e. in principle on the 30th of March 2019 and only if there has been no withdrawal agreement signed.

The measures taken and are subject to the condition that the UK grants the same rights to Spaniards living in the UK.


If the UK leaves the EU without a deal,  UK nationals  and their family who already residing in Spain  will have up to the end of 2020 to apply for a  new  foreigner identity card as third world country nationals  to secure the right to remain from 2021 on wards.

During the grace period the existing registration certificate will continue to be valid.

For those who have already permanent residency this will be an easy process.

However this means that future applications for residency from UK nationals not registered in Spain or who cannot prove to have been residing in Spain before Brexit, or arriving here after 29th of March will be processed in the same way as those of other third world country nationals, with the corresponding requirements more demanding than those for EU citizens.

Working in Spain

If a UK national is working as employed or self-employed in Spain they will be able to continue working as normal.

Social Security and Pension

British citizens who are legally resident and working in Spain subject to Spanish social security shall have the same rights and obligations under the social security system as Spanish nationals.

Provision is also made for the continued receipt of certain social security and pension benefits subject to limitations.

The Spanish government will take into account periods of work in the UK before 29th March 2019 when calculating your Spanish pension.

The above is applicable for a period of 21 months from the withdrawal date, i.e. up to 31st of December 2020

Healthcare provision

If a UK national is currently registered for healthcare in Spain as a resident, they will be able to continue to access healthcare until at least the end of 2020.

Spain will continue reimbursing healthcare costs for eligible UK nationals settled in Spain and Gibraltar before BREXIT up to at least 2020

University Admissions

Students coming from educational systems in the UK will continue to enjoy the admissions procedures to Spanish Universities applicable at the date of withdrawal for the academic years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

Driving after EU Exit

Britons have 9 months from the 29 March 2019 to exchange their UK license for a Spanish one, in the meantime the UK license is accepted.




We hope this information has been useful and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. As new information is published we will continue to update you.

Written by Rafael Berdaguer Barbadillo – Senior Partner


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