Thanks to Brexit, as many as 500 ex-pats are expected to leave Spain in the coming weeks otherwise they will be deemed illegal immigrants unless they wish to become Spanish residents (spoiler: they do not).
A report from Global 24/7 News reveals that Brits who don’t want to be Spanish will have to return to the UK for 180 days, as their 90-day legal stay will end on March 31, exactly 90 days after British official left the EU.
Speaking to the outlet, Anthony Cook from Cardiff who has lived in Spain for seven years said he is not willing to take the risk of being deported by staying although he admits that he knows plenty of people that are.
He adds: “I know of loads who are going to stay thinking they won’t get caught, I think they will but they have said to me how are they going to check everybody but quite truthfully I don’t want to be looking over my shoulder, if they get away with I will look at it again and come back in 6 months.”
However, one man’s testimony in the story has caught the attention of a lot of people online.
A man named Shaun Cromber who admitted to voting for Brexit was in disbelief that such a thing as leaving the EU would prevent him from living on the continent.
Speaking at Malaga airport to Global 24/7 News a tearful Cromber 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 – the 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.”
He added that he feels Spain will regret throwing the British out but people had little sympathy.
Speaking to ITV News, John Shiers, who has lived in Spain for two years, is having to return to the UK as he missed the deadline for his application. He said: “It was naivety on my behalf. I didn’t put mine in until just after [the deadline]. And then it has been knocked back, shall we say”
The rule applies to all countries in the Schengen area. Current rules allow for non-EU residents to stay in the zone for up to 90 days in a six month period without a Visa.