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'Brexpats' in Spain worry about their future

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'Brexpats' in Spain worry about their future
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In Mijas, a town in the Costa del Sol almost 20% of the residents are British.

They came to Spain looking for the sun and a quiet retirement, but Brexit has plunged them into confusion.

Meryl Elmusrati bought her house in 2015 – a year later the result of the referendum upset all of her plans.

"Brexit has created such anguish and stress for people such as myself, because we have no assurity (assurances) that our healthcare will be covered following Brexit," Meryl Elmusrati said.

"We do not know whether there will be a reciprocal arrangement between Spain and UK, we do not know whether our pensions will be frozen or whether they will continue to be index-linked, the pound is devaluing all the time, so it is causing a huge amount of stress.”

British citizens who are living in Spain have created a Brexpats association, where they meet periodically to share their concerns.

"What worries me is the fact that I have my 91-year-old mother living with me now.” Judy Filmer said. “I brought her out so I could look after her because she is blind."

"If we have to pay for her healthcare, that could be quite a lot of money, because at the moment we cannot get private healthcare for her. So that is a problem.”

Expats also fear for their pensions and their residence permit.

"If we leave the European Union with no deal, then essentially overnight we will become illegal immigrants in Spain. So we will not have any protection," Victoria Westhead, a lawyer, said.

The municipality of Mijas does its best to take care of the British community. It is crucial for the local economy, especially because it balances out the months when there is less tourism.

"It allows us to fight against the seasonal idea, generate employment all year and also quality jobs," Juan Carlos Maldonado, Mayor of Mijas said.