Manchester Consulate is reopening for Brexit

SPAIN is reopening its Manchester Consulate, in response to requests from expats, starting to panic about getting appointments in time to resolve their affairs before Brexit, and also to register to vote in the general elections on 28th April.

Spanish Government spokeswoman Isabel Celaá said in a press conference that the office, which closed in 2011, would again serve the north and north-west of England, North and West Yorkshire, East Wales, the West Midlands, East and South Yorkshire and the Isle of Man.

But Cumbria misses out because it is covered by the Edinburgh Consulate, which is one of only two still open, along with London. But, said Ms Celaá: “Since the Manchester Consulate closed eight years ago, the number of Spaniards resident in the UK has grown considerably.

“In light of an imminent Brexit, we need to reinforce Consular presence in the UK, to offer legal security to Spaniards living there, and to help them with all the information and admin they require.”

The spokeswoman, also her Government’s Education Minister, recalled that from 2012 to the end of 2018, the Consulate in London had gone from 68,668 Spaniards registered to 128,232, and, in the same period, Edinburgh had increased from 10,782 to 25,326.

And these figures represent around half-to-a-third of Spaniards living in Britain, who are believed to number between 250,000-300,000.

“The perspective of an imminent Brexit makes this situation even more of a concern,” added Ms Celaá. “Even if the UK approves its exit deal and implements a transition period until the end of 2020, it’s obvious that the level of worries and number of questions among our nationals living in the UK will increase.

“As this time draws to a close, so will consultations, transactions and applications to the Consulates in London and Edinburgh.”

During the press conference, she also referred to the European Parliament agreeing to visa-free travel for British nationals, post-Brexit, up to a maximum of 90 days in every 180 days, and to the Council of Europe and the European Parliament having qualified Gibraltar, officially, as a ‘colony’.

Celaá saw it as “a great step forward for Spain,” but Gibraltar officials were said to be furious.

However, prior to the UK joining the European Union in 1974, and voting to remain in it the following year during a public referendum, The Rock was officially known by the UK Government as a “colony”.

In more recent years and given the negative connotations of a “colony”, Gibraltar has been known as a “British enclave” or an “overseas territory”.


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Posted by on Apr 12 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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