It is often presumed that British expats living in Spain would never vote for “Brexit” for fear of upsetting their pension and healthcare arrangements, but in the expat haven of Alicante opinion is far more evenly divided than those presumptions suggest.
Wendy Simpson, a 69-year-old former executive with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), is among those prepared to risk her life in the Spanish sun in order to follow her “gut feeling” and vote to leave the EU.
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“In this article take from the telegraph some old expats still seam to want to ruin the future for their descendants”
“Britain and the EU is a relationship that just hasn’t worked. So much of what comes out of Brussels is unnecessary and hampers business,” said Mrs Simpson, whose former employer in London has aggressively backedremaining in Europe.
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Mrs Simpson is ready to vote for “Brexit” even though it could force her and her husband to sell up their cherished property near Alicante which they bought after retiring to Spain at the end of 2011 after spending five years working in Australia.
“Brexit could be a hammer blow to us. We are not wealthy,” she added, “Would Britain continue to pay into the Spanish health system for our treatment? What would happen with pensions? Is there a dialogue going on? We just don’t know.”
Other Brexit-minded Spanish expats say they are prepared to vote to leave despite claims from the remain camp that British expats could become “immigrants overnight” – claims many expats believe are overblown.
Despite fears that pensions from the UK no longer be index-linked and Britons could be denied access to Spain’s public health system, John Deacon, a 75-year-old music business entrepreneur who retired to Jávea, near Alicante, is still for ‘out’.
“The EU is crumbling and its currency could be the next thing to collapse. Brussels is a monstrosity of bigoted and unelected idiots, but we won’t notice anything for 10 years. There is no reason to change sensible arrangements that are already in force,” he ventured.
There has been no scientific polling of the estimated 800,000 to one million British expats living in Spain, and it is unclear how they – along with some 4 million other British expats in Europe – could sway the vote on June 23.
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