Brexit: British expats in Spain share their thoughts on leaving EU
Spanish police and immigration officials expect to deport around 500 UK citizens within weeks with targets already earmarked to be picked up and sent home for not having the correct paperwork to remain. Authorities have previously turned a blind-eye to Brits not legally registered in Spain but under Brexit rules they have to be out of the country by March 31 when they will be deemed as illegal immigrants as their 90-day legal stay comes to an end.
A small exodus began last week as expats – including some whose applications for residency have been rejected – started to head back to Britain to beat Wednesday’s deadline.
Anthony Cook, who has lived in Spain for seven years, told Global247news: “The Spanish dream is over for me, it’s time to go back to Cardiff.
“It’s been a blast but the new regulations have made it impossible to stay.
“The freedom of movement has gone and I don’t want to end up getting deported and fined.”
Brexit news: British expats are heading home from Spain
Fellow returning expat Shaun Cromber voted Leave but said he did not believe Brexit would end his Spanish lifestyle.
He said: “Yes I voted out, but I didn’t realise it would come to this.
“My application has been rejected and we are on our way home – my wife is in tears, she’s distraught if I’m honest and I’m not too happy at the prospect of returning back to the UK.
“I’ve loved living on the Costa del Sol and after five years can’t believe it has come to this.
“We applied but got rejected and so have no choice, although long term I think the Spanish will regret chucking us out of Spain.”
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4.22pm update: Brexiteer calls on Brussels to cooperate with UK on vaccines
Brexiteer Sir John Redwood has torn into the EU over the vaccine row with the UK and told Brussels to “cooperate” with companies to try and defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
The EU pulled back from its threat to impose a ban on vaccine exports to the UK but despite that, Sir John ordered Brussels to concentrate on vaccine production rather than continue the bitter row over supplies.
Amid the EU’s vaccine rollout failure, Sir John called for the bloc to work with pharmaceutical companies to increase the production of vaccine doses.
Sir John said: “The EU should spend less time arguing over how to share out the vaccines we can make and more time ensuring more vaccines are made.
“That means co-operating with great companies who are getting on with the task of increasing production.”
Brexit news: Boris Johnson signed the deal in December
1.20pm update: Suez Canal’s blockage ‘major economic shock’ for Europe and ‘last thing’ it needs
The Suez Canal’s blockage constitutes a “major macroeconomic shock for Europe” and it is the last thing the bloc needs, a political commentator has claimed.
One of the world’s largest container ships, the Ever Given, has been wedged across the Suez Canal since it was blown off course by high winds in the early hours of March 23, blocking one of the busiest maritime trade corridors in the world.
The Japanese owner of the ship apologised and claimed dislodging the ship is proving extremely difficult.
Marine and salvage engineers failed in their latest attempt yesterday and according to the latest reports, it might take until at least Wednesday.
While many in Europe are underestimating the accident, the head of Oxford-based think-tank Euro Intelligence Wolfgang Munchau claimed it actually constitutes a “major macroeconomic shock for Europe”.
He wrote: “Germany reminded us that 9 percent of its exports go through the Suez Canal and a much bigger proportion of its chemical trade.
“As we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, industrial supply chains are sensitive, even to small disturbances in transportation infrastructure. And this is a big disturbance.”
UAE: Liz Truss discusses post-Brexit trade deal
12.36pm update: ‘People are angry’ Czexit movement surges as EU seen like ‘Soviets’ breaking hard promises
Brussels’ relentless failures are sparking a new wave of euroscepticism in the Czech Republic, with younger generations now calling for the country to leave the bloc.
A new group led by young anti-EU campaigners has been lambasting Brussels in the past year as a result of the bloc’s unforgivable mistakes in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The leader of the Odchod Czexit Movement, Matej Gregor, is only 18 years old but already he feels the country has been betrayed by the false promises made by the European Union 17 years ago.
Mr Gregor, joined by many others of his generation across the Czech Republic, told Express.co.uk Czech people are angry and demand for the EU state to be freed by Brussels’ shackles is growing.
He explained the movement, which he insists is not a political party and does not intend to become one for now, aims at intensifying an informative campaign in the Czech Republic about the true nature of the European Union and its benefits, or lack thereof.
11.41am update: That’s why we left! ‘Convinced Remainer’ Gauke savages EU on ‘indefensible’ vaccine threat
The EU’S threat to block vaccine exports to the UK has now been described as “indefensible” by Remainer, David Gauke.
The former Justice Secretary and Tory MP who described himself as a “convinced Remainer”, claimed even the instinctive desire to protect the EU over the vaccine row fails.
With the EU’s vaccine programme failing, Mr Gauke criticised the bloc for its threat to the UK while also tearing apart the argument that Britain is imposing its own vaccine export block.
In a brilliant explanation of the EU’s failures over its vaccine programme, Mr Gauke claimed there is confusion within Brussels over what the UK is allowed under its contract with AstraZeneca and what is produced.
Brexit news: David Gauke took apart the EU’s threat
11.06am update: Brussels on alert as momentum surges for ‘Eurexit’ – groups from SIX EU countries unite
An anti-EU movement is growing across the bloc with members from six different EU states now signing to a joint manifesto to abandon Brussels.
The Eurexit Movement launched in January thanks to cross-border eurosceptics from Italy, France and Spain, with the help of the Brexit Party from the UK.
The movement is now growing, with members from the Czech Republic, Ireland and Bulgaria joining the team, as announced on the group’s Twitter account on Thursday.
They wrote: “We welcome the Irish Freedom Party, Odchod movement and Bulgariya na Truda i Razuma to the #Eurexit Movement!
“Our manifesto is now available in Czech and Bulgarian.”
10.48am update: Boris Johnson and the Queen to hold post-Brexit investment summit
The Queen and Boris Johnson will host a world summit to encourage investment into green technologies as the UK attempts to become a global leader in renewable industries.
Taking place in October, the Prime Minister and members of the Royal Family host a summit to galvanise investment into the UK’s green future.
The Global Investment Summit will come ahead of the COP26 event in November.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss welcomed the summit as part of a shift to move to clean economic growth.
She said: “The UK was one of the first governments in the world to set a net-zero target by 2050 and we are still leading the global shift to clean economic growth.
“From wind turbines in Scotland to hydrogen development in Wales, the Global Investment Summit will be a fantastic opportunity to secure investment deals into the best of British green industry, allowing us to build back better, stronger and greener.”
Brexit news: A timeline of events leading to the UK’s exit
9.34am update: EU and UK close to striking vaccine deal
The UK and EU are close to an agreement which will end the bitter row of vaccine exports leaving the bloc.
After negotiations throughout the week led by former ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, The Times reports an agreement could be reached this weekend.
A source said: “For us it was very significant that Johnson did not use Frost but instead went through the Foreign Office.
“It showed that he was really serious about finding a compromise and trying to build trust.”
9am update: EU blasted for “blame games and smear-campaign” in vaccine row
The EU has been slammed for using “blame games, empty threats and a smear-campaign” to distract from the bloc’s calamitous vaccine rollout.
Brussels bureaucrats have repeatedly threatened to block vaccine exports to countries including the UK because it has the audacity to succeed where it had failed.
Many of the bloc’s countries, including France and Germany, also temporarily suspended the AstraZeneca jab over baseless concerns it could cause blood clots.
The veteran Eurosceptic’s views were backed by Wolfgang Munchau – an expert commentator on the EU.
The director of specialist EU news service EuroIntelligence wrote: “There are many ways of not solving the problem.
“EU goes through them one by one: Blame games, empty threats, smear-campaign, who-gets-what discussions. How about just focusing on the problem itself?”
Brexit news: Five moments which led to Brexit
8.15am update: Get over it, Joe! ‘Woke’ Biden told to drop Irish history obsession after swipe at ‘Brits’
Joe Biden needs to focus on the job in hand – specifically thrashing out a trade deal with the UK – rather than obsessing about Irish history, former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe has said.
But the Brexiteer also suggested Britain was well-equipped to thrive even if an agreement is not forthcoming.
The US President – whose great-grandfather emigrated from Ireland to the United States in the 19th century at the height of the Irish potato famine – has made no secret of his concerns about the impact he fears Brexit could have on 1998’s Good Friday Agreement, the landmark deal credited with bringing peace to the North.
Mr Lowe told Express.co.uk: “For me, when we have so much to concern ourselves with regards to China, Russia and other countries as our liberal democracies are under threat, I think it’s sad that Joe Biden isn’t using his leadership of the free world to promulgate the sort of Anglo Saxon ethics of the individual.”
7.48am update: Brexiteer calls on EU to work with companies to increase production
Amid the row over vaccine supplies, Brexiteer and MP for Wokingham Sir John Redwood, ordered Brussels to be more cooperative rather than arguing over exports.
He said in a tweet: “The EU should spend less time arguing over how to share out the vaccines we can make and more time ensuring more vaccines are made.
“That means co-operating with great companies who are getting on with the task of increasing production.”
EU leaders pulled back from imposing a ban on vaccine exports leaving the bloc following internal pressure from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden at an EU summit on Thursday.
However, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen insisted AstraZeneca must step up efforts to supply the EU with vaccine supplies.