Brits Moving to Spain, France & Portugal

Ahead of Brexit

How to avoid making a huge mistake!

                                                                                          By: Alicia Abdool,


Fear of an ending to EU freedom of movement after Brexit is causing retiring Brits to flock to settle in European countries ahead of 2019.

Relocations to Spain, France and Portugal appear to have doubled.  There are already an estimated 300,000 UK citizens currently living in Spain, with 40 per cent of them (around 121,000) aged over 65.  In France, there are around 148,000 British citizens, of which about 20 per cent are pensioners.

Many people are feeling that it’s better to be settled in their new country before Brexit.  John Springfield, a migration expert and director of research at the Centre for European Reform noted, “Retirees…are expensive.  There is no way Spain would allow lots of Brits to retire there and use their health system unless young Spanish people could come and work in the UK.  If we don’t have free movement, it is very unlikely we would have retirement rights.”

There is a note of warning from advisers to those trying to jump the gun and move before Brexit.  They note that until Brexit negotiations have concluded, there’s no way of knowing what rules will govern the transfer of pensions abroad and healthcare arrangements.  But what is for certain is that the best way to combat this uncertainty is always to enlist the help of a third party for relocation support.  Relocation providers can assist with the legalities behind arranging housing, finding schools for the children and setting up healthcare provisions as a part of settling in assistance.

Currently British people visiting Spain receive free access to GPs and hospitals paid for by the NHS – but the Spanish government picks up the tab once people become permanent residents.

Thankfully, the dream of escaping Britain’s dreary winters for the sunny shores of Barcelona, Marseille or Lisbon is not dead yet.

The UK could strike a bilateral agreement with individual EU countries to allow mutually reciprocal relationships for the benefit of all British and EU citizens currently living in uncertainty.  Only time will tell!

It’s always important to plan your move overseas carefully.  There are many things you need to cover at both ends of the move.  People moving abroad make big mistakes by failing to get good, independent advice and support.

As international relocation specialists, the experts at Saunders 1865 – The VIP Relocation Company – can help you avoid making the common mistakes and we can make sure you accomplish everything that needs to be done around managing:

  • Your departure from the UK – including dealing with all the matters associated with what you’re going to do about your UK home; and
  • Your arrival in the overseas location – including choosing where you want to live & getting happily settled into your new life there.

Why not arrange a free consultation with one of our relocation experts today?  Just message us using this Contact Form