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Spain: Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win

Britain has voted to leave the EU, by an expected margin of 52 percent to 48 percent, sending shockwaves around Europe.

After it initially appeared that the "Remain" campaign was on course for victory, the results that drifted in throughout the early hours of Friday morning, proved that many opinion polls, the bookmakers and political experts had got it wrong.

The result send the value of the pound crashing, recording it's biggest drop in over 30 years. Financial forecasters believe it will tumble even further throughout the day.

While the result will have major bearing on the future of Europe and on the futures of Britain's political parties, it will also have a major impact on the lives of many Brits living throughout the EU.

The fall in the value of the pound will have severely hit the value of pensions - often the only form of income for British expats and may make it unaffordable for many to stay abroad.

“I just can’t believe it, what will happen to the UK now and to our rights as Brits living and working abroad?” said Mary Reid, a primary school teacher from the Midlands living in Madrid.

“One of the first things I am going to do is consult a lawyer and see where I stand on getting Spanish nationality,” said the mother-of-one.

Carrie Frais, the Barcelona-based founder of MumAbroad Spain voiced the fears of many expat mothers who had chosen to bring up their children in Spain.

"I am truly shocked by the outcome of the referendum. Speaking on behalf of many British mothers who have chosen Spain as their adoptive country we know how important the UK is to the livelihoods and jobs of those working in the tourism and property sector, not to mention all the other thousands of industries which have gained from British investment here," she told The Local.

"The weakening of the pound is bound to have a significant and immediate effect and no-one can be sure of other restrictions imposed on UK investment in Spain in the future, not to mention the future of British people living and working here. It is indeed worrying times," she said.

Becoming a Spanish citizen requires giving up your British nationality and passport. 

This form of requiring nationality requires the person concerned to have been a legal resident of Spain for an uninterrupted period of ten years immediately prior to the application

According to Spain’s Foreign Office applicants must prove “good citizenship” and “a sufficient degree of integration in Spanish society” - which includes being able to speak Spanish and taking part in social activities with Spaniards.

Applications must be submitted to the Civil Registry of the place of residence.

Once you have been approved, you have to swear your loyalty to the King and promise to obey the Spanish constitution and laws. 

You also have to renounce your previous nationality.

One way to drastically shorten the waiting time to gain Spanish nationality is to be married to a Spaniard.

If you have been married to a Spaniard for at least one year, you can apply for Spanish nationality, also via the Civil Registry in your place of residence.

You have to still be married to a Spaniard upon application, no separated or divorced people need apply.

Widows and widowers of Spaniards can also immediately apply for Spanish citizenship.

Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win - The Local

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