HMA Simon Manley Bids Farewell to UK Nationals in Spain
“I leave my almost six years as HMA to Spain with a wealth of wonderful memories of this fantastic country. I understand why so many UK Nationals choose to live and visit here.
One of the tremendous privileges of this job has been to meet many of you, the British Nationals involved in your communities in so many different ways; those of you volunteering with organisations like Cruz Roja, Age Concern and so many more; helping fight forest fires in Javea, or looking after British cemeteries; those raising funds to help those in need; young people volunteering with organisations like Street Angels in Mallorca helping to look after British visitors to the island or British councillors serving their local communities.
The footprint of British education relies on UK Nationals living and working here, as teachers and assistants in the many British schools and language academies. UK Nationals are also working in businesses across Spain, from bars and restaurants on the Costas to the Big Five accountancy firms.
It has been an honour to represent Queen and country and to serve you, the UK nationals living here.
If I have one final message as we leave the EU, it is to make sure you, your friends and family are properly registered as residents and check on your neighbours – make sure they are registered too.
I wish you all continued health and happiness in your lives here in Spain.”
New British Ambassador Hugh Elliott arrives in Spain
Hugh Elliott, a member of the UK’s Diplomatic Service since 1989, succeeds Simon Manley as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain and non-resident Ambassador to Andorra. The Ambassador takes up this new role having previously been Director of Communications in the Department for Exiting the European Union.
On his arrival, Hugh Elliott said “With a wealth of cultural, commercial and people-to-people links, the relationship between the UK and Spain is like no other and I am proud and honoured to represent my Queen and country here in Spain.”
For the Ambassador, this strong connection with Spain has been an important part of his life for decades.
“I met my wife Toñi while working as an English teacher at the University of Salamanca. Spain was my first diplomatic posting in the nineties and my two children were born in Madrid. I can understand why so many UK nationals have chosen to make Spain their home,” he said.
He added, “We are approaching an important milestone as the UK prepares to leave the European Union on 31st October”.
His message was one of reassurance to UK nationals currently living in Spain. “We’ve given EU citizens living in the UK the legal certainty of their right to live and remain in the United Kingdom and I’m very pleased that the Spanish Government has put in place, through the Royal Decree, the same guarantees for British citizens in Spain.”
Mr Elliott acknowledged that people have questions and concerns and undertook that he and his team would be working hard to answer them. He also urged people to sign up to the Living in Guide (gov.uk/living-in-spain) where they will find the latest, accurate information on Brexit.
Two key actions that UK nationals should do now is to ensure that they are correctly registered as a resident and registered for healthcare as a resident.
Mr Elliott can be followed on Twitter @HughElliottUK.
Advice for UK nationals living in Spain can be found at https://www.gov.uk/living-in-spain