It is no use burying your head to the future. Brexit has happened and life will be different for all us Brits living in Spain after the 1st January 2021
Nor is there much point asking for advice in pubs and bars or, dare I say it, on Facebook.
Many of the loopholes that allowed people to 'stay below the radar' have been closed and there are now any number of ways to verify a persons location, how long they have been there, what resources they possess in Spain and elsewhere. It may seem contradictory but after the 1st January 2021 there will be far more communication between the various UK official bodies such as DVLC, Police and Customs, Inland Revenue, National Insurance and non official bodies such as Banks and Financial Institutions and their Spanish (or French, Italian etc.) counterparts.
So, what we have here is a few links to websites that do have the right information
If you are British and fall into one of the following categories then elements of your life will change:
1. Living in Spain - retired
2. Living in Spain - not retired
3. Working in Spain - employed
4. Working in Spain - self employed
5. Working in Spain and owning a business
6. Driving in Spain
7. Intending to move to Spain
8. Intending to return to the UK
9. Intending to visit the UK and return to Spain
We have resourced some links that should tell you all you need to know and, most importantly, how to go about getting those vital bits of paper you will need to stay in Spain, move to Spain and visit Spain after the 1st January 2021.
Brexit Transition: new rules for 2021 HM Gov site with definitive rules as they are agreed. Covers all personal as well as business situations. The site asks you a series of questions to drill down to exactly the information you need. This is the first HMGov site I have ever enjoyed working through.
A downloadeable pdf that is surpringly easy to understand.
Living and Working
In fact it is so easy to understand it makes you wonder why it took 4 years to work it out.
Brexit saw the loss of European-wide ‘passporting’ permissions for banks. Some banks have taken advantage of this to hike the cost of sending money to and from the UK despite rules intended to limit the cost of cross-border payments. Read the full article here.
Whether you are in Spain ordering goods from the UK, or in the UK ordering goods from Spain (or any other country in the EU), you are going to be liable for Customs Duties and Import Tax. It does not matter whether you are a business or an individual. Many Internet shoppers are being caught out because they did not realise or thought things would remain the same after Brexit. This BBC report explains why, how and when Customs and Import taxes are imposed on unsuspecting individuals. Brexit parcel price shock
Quick tip: If ordering from amazon.co.uk, you will pay customs and import duties. Order from amazon.es - no duties to pay. i.e. Find a Spanish supplier.
If you're already living in an EU country, you will have certain protections under the withdrawal agreement
But even then, you should check Spain’s specific rules. You may need to register or apply for residency, get new documents, or meet specific requirements - like having a job.
If you plan to move to Spain in 2021, you will no longer have an automatic right to live, work, study or retire there. You will need a visa if you are going there for any reason other than tourism.
As part of the UK's exit from the EU, the UK and Spain have agreed in principle that the land border will go, possibly within six months, but the terms of the deal first have to be made into a formal treaty with the EU:
The single road linking the territories will be widened to allow people and cars to travel freely
Some infrastructure will stay at the border, a few guards will remain on standby, and finalities still need to be worked out such as judging the necessity of certain customs checks away from the border and if so how they would work
For the border to disappear, Gibraltar will effectively become part of Europe's passport-free travel area - the Schengen zone - though there is a different use of language from both sides on whether it will be "part of", or "connected to" Schengen
With the border gone, new arrivals will only be checked if they enter by sea at the port and by air
For the first time, as well as the Gibraltar border guards, there will be guards from the EU border and Coastguard Agency known as Frontex also checking passports.
Gibraltarian, British and Spanish officials all insist the border deal is an experiment that will be re-assessed four years after the border has been removed.
Spain has reached a deal with the UK to maintain free movement to and from Gibraltar once the UK formally leaves the EU today. To avoid a hard border, Gibraltar will join the EU's Schengen zone and follow other EU rules, while remaining a British Overseas Territory. The deal was announced by Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya, just hours before the UK exits the EU.
Twenty-two EU states are in the passport-free Schengen zone, as are Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, but the UK has never been in it. Once Gibraltar joins it, EU citizens arriving from Spain or another Schengen country will avoid passport checks, while arrivals from the UK will have to go through passport control, as is already the case.