It has been reported that Ryanair have turned away British expats wanting to fly to Spain, and the airline has been accused of acting “on behalf of the Spanish authorities.”
On Monday morning seven Brits were prevented from boarding a Ryanair flight from Manchester to Alicante, Spain.
One Brit said after checking the latest British government travel advice he had booked a flight to Spain to buy a property, which is a valid reason to travel under England’s legislation.
Alec, 63 who is a retired IT technician said that he was denied entry to the plane without any justified reason and further claimed the staff insisted that they did not have a valid residency card, and were not interested in talking to the passengers.
Speaking to The Olive Press who are a Spanish newspaper, Alec said, “Ryanair staff had made the arbitrary decision to deny their passengers travel on behalf of the Spanish authorities.”
An Italian woman who was travelling back to Spain where her family lives was also denied access to board the aircraft and was told she is not allowed to travel, despite being allowed for “justified family matters.”
Anyone in England is legally allowed to travel abroad if they are an expat and to buy property, which is deemed a “reasonable excuse” under British law.
The British government foreign travel guidance states, “Whilst the stay in UK restrictions are in place, you are only allowed to leave the UK from England if you have a reasonable excuse.
“This applies to holders of UK and non-UK passports.
“It is illegal to travel abroad without a reasonable excuse. Travel abroad for holidays is not permitted.”
In relation to properties abroad, it says
People can travel to “carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property,” the current legislation clearly states.
Since Brexit the freedom of movement has been stopped and the UK will now be treated as a third country.
The Consulate General of Spain in the UK has issued the latest travel advice, which says, “Since Brexit, the UK is considered a non-EU country.
“British citizens [as third country nationals (TCNs)] can’t travel to Spain at the moment, in general terms.”
However, it does clearly state that “EU citizens and their relatives, including British ones, are permitted to travel.”
The Consulate general advice adds, “Bear in mind that British regulations also apply to citizens currently in the UK and, at the moment international travel is banned except in certain cases.”
As part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement a new residence document which was introduced in 2020, which is called the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero or TIE.
Unregistered Brits who live and own property can only stay in Spain for 90 days, the only exemption for non-EU citizens include, but are not limited to, those who are long term Spanish visa holders, healthcare professionals and those who are legally travelling for essential reasons.
Within the next few weeks Spanish officials will start deporting Brits with the first round of deportations will see around 500 UK citizens to be thrown out.
Under the Brexit withdrawal agreements British expats must prove that they lived in Spain legally prior to 31 December 2020.
Potentially thousands of Brits will be left without healthcare and rights, and could be trapped under the strict Covid travel restrictions as Europe is entering a third wave.
Third country nationals will only be allowed to visit Spain for no more than 90 days within a 180 day period in any country within the Schengen zone.
The British Embassy has warned, “Any stays beyond the 90 days in any 180 day period will be dependent on the applicable visas and immigration rules for Spain.
“This may require applying for a visa and/or permit.”
Moira Carmenate of the Expat Centre based in Ciudad Quesada in Costa Blanca South told The Olive Press, “Brexit has changed so many things in a wholly negative way.
“The withdrawal agreement wasn’t properly thought through and the consequences for some individuals and businesses has been catastrophic.
“After four years of soundbited and false promises from the UK government, those picking up the pieces are the vulnerable Brits right throughout Europe, not just Spain.
“As a consequence a lot of elderly folk living here who don’t have access to social media or trustworthy news sources, have been unaware of the recent and ongoing changes.
“This leaves Brits vulnerable and at the mercy of hearsay, I really feel for them.”
Many Brits have had their residency applications rejected and are heading back to the UK before this Wednesday’s deadline.
Anthony Cook, who has lived in Spain for seven years, told Global247news: “The Spanish dream is over for me, it’s time to go back to Cardiff.
“It’s been a blast but the new regulations have made it impossible to stay.
“The freedom of movement has gone and I don’t want to end up getting deported and fined.”