Updated 14 May: The British Consulate in Tenerife is holding a public information meeting at 2pm on 24 May in Santiago’s Diner in Puerto Santiago.  

Updated 7 May: It has been confirmed this afternoon by David Lidington, essentially the deputy PM, that the UK will indeed be taking part in the EU Parliamentary elections on 23 May. Anyone wanting to vote and still not registered … you have until midnight. Tonight. There is more information from the Government HERE.

Updated 30 April: The British Government has issued the following statement with regard to voting in the UK’s possible participation in the European Parliamentary elections next month.

Information for UK nationals on voting in the European Parliament elections

The UK Government wants to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement on our departure from the EU in the next few weeks. This would mean we would not participate in the European Parliament elections.

However, there is a possibility that the UK will have to participate in the elections. In this scenario, if you wish to vote, you should ensure that you are registered either with your local electoral authorities here in Spain or in the UK.

The European Parliament elections in Spain will be held on 26 May. If the UK remains in the EU at the time of the election, voting will take place in the UK on 23 May.

The deadline for registering to vote in the local and European Parliament elections in Spain was 30 January 2019. If you are not already registered to vote in Spain, you could instead choose to vote in the UK, as long as you have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years. The deadline for registering to vote in EP elections in the UK is midnight on Tuesday 7 May. The process can be done online and you can register to vote either by post or by proxy. It is important to be aware that you cannot vote in both countries.

Find out more about voting in the European Parliament elections:

//europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/elections-abroad/european-elections/index_en.htm

For details on how to register as an overseas voter with the UK Electoral Commission:

//www.yourvotematters.co.uk/can-i-vote/overseas

For the latest information on issues affecting UK nationals in Spain, sign up for email alerts at gov.uk/living-in-spain and follow us on social media at facebook.com/britsinspain.

Updated 12 April: The FCO has released the following open letter from HMA Simon Manley to British citizens living in Spain.

I’m sure you have been following recent developments in the Brexit negotiations very closely, so I wanted to give you a quick update about what all of this means for British people living here in Spain.

The European Council has agreed what is being called a “flexible extension” to the process of our departure from the European Union, until 31 October. Flexible, because if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by both the UK and the European Parliaments before then, we will leave on the first day of the month after that approval.

So for example, if we pass a deal in the first three weeks of May, the UK will leave the European Union on the first of June. That would also mean we won’t take part in elections to the European Parliament. If, however, a deal is not passed by that point, European Parliamentary elections will take place in the UK. And if you are registered to vote in European elections here in Spain, then you should be able to do so.

I understand all of this is unsettling and frustrating for many of you. You want to know on what terms we are going to leave the European Union and what that may mean for you as a UK national living in Spain. During this extension period, the UK remains a full member of the EU and consequently your existing rights will not change. So, for example, your rights to healthcare, to residency and to travel throughout the EU, remain exactly as they are today.

Nonetheless, during this extension period, as we prepare to leave the European Union, it remains really important to ensure that you are correctly registered. I understand, however, that many of you are finding it difficult to get appointments. Let me assure you that we are talking with the Spanish authorities about this. Meanwhile, the Spanish Government has advised that if you can’t get an appointment now, you should make sure that you’ve got proof that you were living here before we leave the European Union, whether that be a padrón certificate or utility bills. The Spanish Government also advises on their Moncloa website on Brexit contingency measures, to keep checking for new appointments to become available. Should we leave the EU with a deal, as we very much hope, you will have until the end of the Implementation Period, currently set at 31 December 2020, to register, if you have not done so already. Should we, however, leave without a deal, as could still happen, the Spanish Government has said you will have a 21-month grace period from the date of our departure to register.

You can also prepare by signing up for email alerts for our Living in Spain guide on gov.uk or by joining our Brits in Spain Facebook community, where you can also find some videos on what you need to do to prepare for Brexit on issues such as registration, driving licences, healthcare and travel.

I wish you and your families a very happy Easter.

Source: Janet Anscombe 

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