‘This is my view’

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June 15, 2016

Point 1. Speaking the language
Britain – At present all foreign people are entitled to an interpreter if requesting information from the Job Centres, housing, benefits, police, courts, doctor’s, NHS, legal aid, etc. English classes are free in the UK (the UK are investing, on top of this, £2million so that Muslim women and migrants can learn English).
Spain – Interpreter paid by yourself for all the above. The only time you are legally given an interpreter is when you are being charged by the police (oh, and don’t forget this will put a lot of interpreters out of business in Spain).
I speak enough Spanish to get by. If I was working I would be speaking fluent Spanish. Unfortunately, I find that most Spanish are too busy to talk and do not have similar interests, so like plenty of pensioners I stick with my own. I do not see a problem anywhere for pensioners, but if you want to work, have young children, it is a necessity.
Point 2. Building, migrants and money
Parts of the UK are now no-go areas for Brits, being told that they are not to enter! Overcrowding in houses, 17 people in a three-bed house is not unusual. We need to build 300,000 homes every year, depending on immigrants. If the figures keep rising, so will the amount of homes required. No way of stopping gridlocks, unless houses are demolished to make roads wider. The rest of your questions would be impossible to calculate unless we can control migration. The current UK statistics are 650 people to a square mile, as opposed to Spain with 210 per square mile. The UK with 60,609,153 population and Spain with 40,397,842 – are you getting a picture here of overcrowding? Cameron has been told free movement is a fundamental part of the EU so we can’t control anything! Ensure the population does not grow? Are you suggesting birth control, because the actual Brits reproduce at 1.2%, some immigrants at 5-8% (start working with maths, we the Brits will be the minority in less than 60 years).
Point 3. Migrant figures in the EU (hardly any information on migrants in Spain)
The British Embassy do not have the figures for Brits abroad. You have to search the net. Net migration might help you. But from the net I glean 184,000 EU citizens applied to register for the valuable National Insurance and 188,000 non-EU, statistics March 2014. March 2015, total 629,000, of which 54,000 were Spanish (in 2013 the report was that the Spanish armada was coming and it did I believe. 150,000 for jobs, not accounting for students, who by the way can study and work for 16 hours and claim benefits!). Yes, 5.5 million Brits could live overseas, but that does not mean just in the EU or in one year!
Point 4. Living under the radar
Yes, some Brits do live under the radar, as a lot of people do in all countries, but most will have a home in the UK. I lived here for less than six months a year till 2013, when I became a resident. I was paying all my bills, spending money, my car was Spanish, sitting in the garage but still paying road tax, etc. Was I classed as under the radar?
Point 5. Returning to the UK and what could be left
Brexit will force millions of Brits to return to Britain. Well, for instance in 2014 (Wikipedia) estimated (?) 300,286 Brits in Spain at the same time, according to the BBC (how do they know?) 761,000 Brits in Spain. That is with/without the count of holiday homes. Well it might be difficult to go back to the UK, but a market of “for sale homes” will put the housing market in chaos in Spain, plus the sale of cars and the losses to shops, to name a few. I only know a handful of Brits who actually work here. I would therefore think that the bulk are on pensions earned in the UK, which the Spanish tax and the rest of the pensions/savings are spent here. That’s a hell of a lot of money to lose in a country that is in debt. I would think the employed will be at the receiving end of the “Spanish authorities” as they actually work here, possibly in a job the Spanish could do. I would add a very large proportion of Brits in Spain work at their own businesses and hire/partner the Spanish. Another problem for the Spanish. Plus would it be tit for tat and the UK send the Spanish back?
I have free NHS you might say, no the British pay for every one of us on pensions directly to Spain. Last time I heard the figure was £4,800 per pensioner a year (plus extra if you came with an expensive illness). Can I point out we are not all ill! And some stick with private medical requirements. What do I get in return for spending my money here as a pensioner? I assume like all the Brits virtually nothing (except the sun). As we have not worked here we are not entitled to benefits, unless you can tell me different. If I was entitled to anything, nobody has told me, unlike the British who explain everything in your native language that you are entitled to.
I would expect the Spanish to realise what they would lose as I think they may be more astute than you. If they or any EU country threw out the Brits or made it hard, I would expect the holidaymakers from the UK (which a lot come to visit relatives here) would also go elsewhere. Then you might also find a tit for tat situation on what you export, which keeps some of your areas in bread, butter and honey. As the UK buys a damn sight more from Spain than Spanish buy from the UK (look in the paper you write for, for information).
It is bad enough the drivel people already write about Brexit and say, but you are trying to frighten the elderly expats with your unfounded ill-informed report. Which obviously tells me you will vote if you can to stay. You are paid as a reporter to investigate what you write about. May I suggest that you try harder in future. As I believe, it is in most EU countries’ interest to keep the expats as they boost the economy. Plus the EU coffers, paying in £3.50 a head, I believe Spain is 2.30 a head.

Yours sincerely
B Howman

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