‘Spanish dream over’: Man returns to Wales to avoid post-Brexit deportation
The “Spanish dream” is “over” for a man who is returning to Wales to avoid being deported under post-Brexit rules.
Anthony Cook, who has lived in Spain for seven years, said he is moving back to Cardiff because “freedom of movement has gone” and that the new regulations have made it “impossible to stay”.
It has been reported that Spanish police and immigration officials expect to deport around 500 UK citizens within weeks.
Targets have already been earmarked to be picked up and sent home for not having the correct paperwork to remain in the country.
The Spanish authorities have previously turned a blind eye to UK nationals not legally registered in Spain.
Now because of the new Brexit rules they have to be out of the country by March 31. At that point they will be deemed illegal immigrants because their 90-day legal stay comes to an end.
A small exodus of UK citizens began last week as people who are sometimes referred to as ‘expats’ but are otherwise known as immigrants, including some whose applications for residency have been rejected, started to head back to their homeland to beat Wednesday’s deadline.
Anthony Cook told Global247news: “The Spanish dream is over for me, it’s time to go back to Cardiff.
“It’s been a blast but the new regulations have made it impossible to stay.
“The freedom of movement has gone, and I don’t want to end up getting deported and fined.”
Shaun Cromber who voted to leave the EU but did not believe Brexit would end his Spanish lifestyle, 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 – my 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.
“I’ve loved living on the Costa del Sol and after five years can’t believe it has come to this.
“We applied but got rejected and so have no choice, although long term I think the Spanish will regret chucking us out of Spain.”