The short answer is no. Certainly not from here in Spain.
This article in The Times raised the question recently in a rather dramatic manner, such that The Guardian felt obliged to report it. Does anyone else remember when The Times was the official newspaper of record for the entire world?
The facts, though, do not support the argument. And nor does apocryphal evidence here “on the ground”.
The Times quotes UN population estimates for 2015 which say that 1.22 million Britons are living in other EU countries at present. The same source shows that in 2010 the figure was 1.18 million. The estimated number of British migrants in the EU has therefore slightly increased during the six years to 2015.
The article says that 100 Britons have been leaving Spain over the past two years. That is based on UN data showing that slightly fewer than 309,000 UK nationals were living in Spain during the period, compared to 381,025 in 2013. The 2010 level was 319,144 people.
However, the article’s claim that the drop in the number living in Spain is driven by Brexit fears has not been substantiated. Data published by Spain’s national statistics office reveal that outward migration from Spain has increased substantially since 2009 due to the country’s economic woes, which have affected both Spanish nationals and foreign-born residents.
However, it is quite likely that the UN data underestimates the number of Britons living abroad because EU citizens living in other member states do not have to register their arrival.I know many Britons who have been living in Spain for many years and have not obtained an NIE. I´m not sure how they function, as without it most things are somewhere between difficult and impossible, but then I am fairly well integrated.
Even fewer go for full residency, as it is extremely difficult (and sometimes expensive) to obtain. Which is odd, as paying tax properly without residency is tricky, so you would think the government would encourage it.
I also wonder how the number of Britons is calculated – NIE registrations, local voter registrations or residency?
For example, in 2010 the Institute for Public Policy Research estimated that 808,000 UK nationals were living in Spain permanently. And that certainly seems like a far more realistic figure
In addition, as the piece itself states, there is no sudden increase in Britons returning home. According to the latest migration estimates from the Office for National Statistics 87,000 British citizens returned to the UK in the year ending September 2015. In the same period for the previous year, it was 81,000. And in 2010 at the height of the economic crisis and when there was no talk of Brexit, 92,000 Britons left. So basically, the entire article is tosh!
There are also a huge number of Spaniards emigrating to other Eu countries in the same period. And that has little to do with “Brexit” and everything to do with the terrible economic situation in most of Spain, and especially for young people.
We are fortunate here in Marbella in that we have a micro-economy made up of wealthy residents, and the tourists that we attract here are more wealthy than the general population. And that is obviously good news for my Marbella escorts!
As an aside, the article in The Guardian did give them the chance to roll out some of the usual cliches, including what Britons in Spain are like. Did they mention Marbella, or the successful business and club owners in Ibiza? Oh no. They show this…
I mean, really? Not Tibu and La Sala in Marbella, or the bars inland where everyone is beautifully integrated? Not Pacha in Ibiza, where my friends who are Ibiza escorts spend so much of their “off-duty” time? Nope. Fat middle aged men surrounded by Union flags playing, incidentally, American pool! Grrr…
Its like someone doing an article about England and deciding to show a photo of a pub in Skelmersdale instead of somewhere in Chelsea where my London MILF friends might hang out. Or an abandoned park in some former mining town instead of sexy beautiful girls putting their wares on display in Green Park.
Everything is about focus I get. And the media are superb at controlling that while all the time presenting themselves as impartial.
So, back to the original question. Will Brexit mean that there will be a massive exodus of Britons from Spain? Only if the Spanish decide that the huge amounts of money spent here by Britons are outweighed ny the few people claiming Spanish benefits. There is no way on Gods earth that most expat Brits will voluntarily go back!