Throughout the entire Brexit debacle, a common complaint from Brits living in Spain is that we’re not being seen or heard.
Despite the UK government claiming that citizens’ rights would be its “number one priority” in the Brexit negotiations, we haven’t seen much evidence of this happening.
Citizens’ rights groups have worked tirelessly to protect our interests but have received limited engagement with the UK government. Unsurprisingly, many Brits in Spain feel that they’re invisible, and that their concerns are considered irrelevant.
Until recently, the UK media has taken little interest in our plight. When interest has been shown, we haven’t always been happy with the results.
Whether it’s the terminology used, the locations and candidates chosen for interviews, or the oft-repeated accompanying photographs sourced from media image libraries, most press coverage has reinforced the stereotypes so hated by most.
Let’s start with the “e” word – most of the Brits I know hate to be called “expats”.
The term comes with such negative connotations. It implies that we are different: better than other immigrants (foreign ones, that is!), simply because we’re British and, therefore, superior to everyone else.
Please call us what we are – immigrants, migrants – and don’t differentiate us from EU citizens living in the UK. We’re all in the same boat, although our crew is friendlier and the weather milder here.
Another media depiction I find annoying and inaccurate is that we’re all pensioners living the life of Riley on a ‘costa’, sipping gin and tonic on a sun-kissed beach.
Well, I confess I am a pensioner and I do live on a ‘costa’, so in that respect, I am a stereotype, but I hate gin and haven’t been on a beach in three years!
Read Sue’s full article in The Local