British in Spain information

This is the entry point to news and information on the battle to win a People’s Vote and the pages of self-help information for residents of Finestrat, Orxeta and Sella.

On the Facebook page you can find regular news and updates.  The author of these pages, Gareth Thomas is responsible for all views expressed here: they are not connected to any one political party or campaigning pro-EU group.  Gareth has been working with British in Europe on lobbying campaigns directed at MPs and MEPs, is currently an ordinary member of Bremain in Spain the British group committed to a Remain position, (which you are strongly recommended to join if you are UK residents in Spain); and I am also a member of the UK armed forces pro-EU group Veterans for Europe (working on the Twitter account @Vets4EU for the group.)

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I also support European Citizens’ Initiative formed from residents of Ireland, France, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom who have come together in an effort to protect the current and future citizenship rights of all European citizens. This is to ensure that citizens’ rights, once gained, cannot be removed.  The initiative is also a strong counter-movement to the far-right, which has made significant gains in all 28 countries of Europe.  In this sense, the fight for citizens’ rights and the fight against Brexit are seen very much as part of a Europe-wide anti-fascist struggle.

You will see – both here and on my Facebook page – and frequently in my comments on Twitter – I prefer to use the term Brexfascists to describe the more extreme persons and groups, for example Jacob Rees-Mogg et. al. (and the so-called “European Research Group” ERG), and their financial backers like the bully and crook Arron Banks.  As I have explained elsewhere on this blog, the use of the term fascists to describe these people and this extreme right phenomenon is not simply a term of abuse, but a precise political category.  (The essay “Ur Fascism,” by Umberto Eco, provides a full justification for the use of that political category, as explained on the above linked page.)

For many people I know, the complicated politics is very boring and I do not want to say much more about this here. We need to focus on simple practical things that need to be done. British residents in Spain need practical help to prepare for a variety of scenarios that could severely damage the citizens’ rights and the financial security they currently enjoy, and the politics that gave us this sorry mess is of no interest.  That is an entirely understandable view and I have no interest in the politics either, beyond sabotaging Brexit!  When that job is done, I hope we can all return to the lives we had before.

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So I am trying to do both things here.  Volunteering in groups fighting Brexfascism. And at the same time trying to help provide simple and straightforward practical, and pastoral advice, to all affected by the problems of Brexit.  If we can stop it completely, and I believe there is a possibility that we can, so well and good.  But if we cannot, then a whole new phase begins, of helping the vulnerable and the confused, particularly older retired British residents, with solid advice about their rights and how to ensure continued services like health care.

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There is no doubt that some people – particularly in the health insurance and financial sectors (e.g. private pensions) will use this time of anxiety to sell products to worried Brits here in Spain.  IT IS ALREADY HAPPENING.