POLITICS

British Expat Teacher Living In Spain Fears She May Be Forced Out Over Brexit

'I don't have any confidence in Theresa May.'

27/06/2017 15:29 | Updated 27 June 2017
Neil Hall / Reuters

A British expat in Spain says she fears she will be forced to leave and has ‘no confidence’ in the ability of the Government to look after the interests of UK citizens living abroad. 

Theresa May set out her ‘serious offer’ to EU nationals living in Britain in the Commons this week - saying nobody would be forced to leave - and wants the same assurances extended to British citizens overseas.

But Rebecca Sylvan, who has worked as a pre-school teacher at an international school in Barcelona for the past two years, told HuffPost UK she was not convinced the PM would be able to secure her future, or that of fellow expats.

The 29-year-old said: “I have been living here for over two years now and it is my home..  I have friends here, I have a job.

“I have been trying to read up on what exactly is happening to better educate myself and try to work out what the future holds, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.

“I’m now half expecting to be told I have to leave the country at some point soon.  Until then I am just trying to get on with normal life as best I can, but for me and the rest of the expat community I am in touch with, it’s quite a worrying time.”

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Rebecca Sylvan, a British expat working as a teacher in Barcelona. 

Rebecca, who grew up in London, said the Government’s move to set out the future for EU citizens in the UK has done nothing to put her mind at ease.

“The Government seems to be such a mess at the moment and everything is up in the air, so it’s hard to see how Theresa May will be able to properly deal with it and give us any certainty,” she added.

″It would be good for us to have some clarity.  It’s really hard to prepare for what is going to happen next in your life because we just have no idea at the moment.

″I have considered moving back to the UK because of my worries about the future, but I am not ready to leave Barcelona.”

New figures, released by international moving support company Movehub, show a massive increase in the number of moves to the UK from European countries since the Brexit vote. 

PA Wire/PA Images
Expat says she has 'no confidence' in Theresa May's ability to secure future of UK citizens living abroad.

In June 2016, the number of people wanting to move to Britain from Spain and Germany jumped by 108% and 157% respectively.

Overall moves to the UK during the 2016/17 financial year showed a 66% increase in those coming from Finland, 32% from Spain and 19% from Norway.

Movehub boss Ben Tyrrell said: “Our data clearly shows that the prolonged uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the EU has prompted British expats currently living abroad to question whether this is something they can maintain long-term.

“Europeans who have been toying with the idea of moving to the UK are also perhaps more likely to take the plunge while visa requirements are still straightforward.”

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