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Viewpoint: Growing population

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Incredible but true! There are an estimated 2,000 “new” British residents in the Balearics who have joined the official census in the last 12 months. Even more amazing still is how they managed to move to the islands last year because of all the travel restrictions! There are now 18,000 British residents.

I suspect that this massive influx of British residents was not an influx at all just 2,000 people getting their paperwork in order before the Brexit deadline. The campaigns by both the British and Spanish government calling on British expats to get their paperwork in order appears to have been successful.

Spain had made it very clear that anyone living here who did not have a residence permit would be asked to leave. The good thing about this situation is now the Spanish authorities will have a better idea of who is living where. The figures before were divided into those living legally and those who weren´t.

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While the Spanish authorities only had a record of 16,000 Britons living here it was estimated that the real figure was almost double. And it is not just the Balearics. A similar state of affairs has occured across Spain with most Spanish provinces reporting a big increase in the number of British residents.

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Brexit may be controversial but at least it has finally pushed many expats to get their paperwork in order. The sudden growth in the British populaton on the islands will not be lost on the Spanish authorities. It is a question of better late than never.

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