May.05 2024

Real decreto-ley 5/2019 of march 1st to minimize hardness of entry into force of brexit

The coming in force of Brexit is due for March 29th, 2019. Due to this situation, the Spanish Council of Ministers, on March 1st 2019 has passed Real Decreto-Ley 5/2019 with a series of measures to minimize the hardness that the entry into force of Brexit could imply both for the British citizens living in Spain and Spanish ones living in Great Britain.

The purpose of the Real Decreto-ley 5/2019 is to set measures for the case in which  Brexit comes into force without any agreement having been reached.


As an introduction,  we have to consider that the writing of the Real Decreto-Ley 5/2019 has a wide range of measures distributed in four big sections which include provisions such as the residence of the British citizens in Spain to that of the relatives of the families, police cooperation, management of permits, labour relationships, social security, access to the public health system and many other ones.

Though, as we have said, there are many sections in this Real Decreto-Ley 5/2019, and we have to bear in mind that the basis of the same are the temporality of its measures and its reciprocity.

This means that, said Real Decreto, in its Article 2 fixes such measures within a term of 2 months from the coming into force of the Real Decreto 5/2019 (which is foreseen to take place in March 30th, 2019), in such way that if, after this term, the pertinent authorities of the United Kingdom do not grant a reciprocal procedure to individuals or legal entities from Spain, such measures of the Real Decreto 5/2019 could be suspended.

In this article we shall stress the most important questions about the Real Decreto 5/2019, although at the end of this article we leave a link for you in order that you can read the entire Real Decreto 5/2019.

First, one of the questions that most British citizens living in Spain ask has to do with the change of being resident from EU to the one foreseen in the general immigration regime. According to Royal Decree Law 5/2019, British people would keep their legal status as usual but, in any case, they will have to request a Foreign Identity Card before the end of 2020.

Another important question is what the Real Decreto-Ley states in relation to the Access to the long-term residency. According to Article 5 of said Real Decreto-Ley, people from the United Kingdom shall be entitled to obtain an authorization of long-term residency when they have lived constantly and legally in Spain for a period of  at least five years. The continuity of the residence shall have to comply with Article 32 of the Ley Orgánica 4/2000 from January 11th. Those citizens from the United Kingdom who, before Brexit coming into force had a permanent residency, shall have to request a permanent foreign identity card before the General Directorate of the Police, together with their Passport fully in force, a form which verifies the payment of the fee and a photo (size card).

Second, the Real Decreto-Ley 5/2019 also identifies the way of ruling the social security. For this assumption, said Royal Decree gives also gives a term of 21 months (that is, up to the end of 2020) as a transition term. During this one, depending on the situation of each British citizen, it shall be stipulated that he/she may keep being in one regime or other. So, for example, those citizens from the United Kingdom who are legally living and working in Spain, shall be subject to the Spanish legislation regarding the Social Security. They will keep being granted to benefits and obligations of this transition period as the Spanish citizens are, according Ley Orgánica 4/2000 from January 11th. Those people who are citizens of the United Kingdom and are legally living and working in Spain are subject to the legislation of the Social Security of the United Kingdom, according to title II of the Regulation of the UC 883/2004 of April  29th.

If after this term, these citizens are still working in Spain, they would then be subject to the Spanish legislation, previous affiliation process and registration at the pertinent Social Security regime before the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security.

Third, regarding the health assistance. Article 13 of Real Decreto 5/2019 states that, unless there is any other agreement between the United Kingdom, during that term of 21 months (that is, up to the end of 2020) British citizens would get health assistance at the Spanish National Health System in the terms and conditions previously existing.

Finally, at the moment, we do not know anything else regarding the way by which taxes for non-residents of the United Kingdom shall be governing, though it is not discarded any advancement on the question during the following months. In any case, when Brexit comes into force and the United Kingdom will be a non-UE State, rules regarding all non-UE members should have to be applied. All of this, whenever there is no new agreement between both countries.

Please, notice that this article is a general information and it does not replace the advice of a lawyer for your specific case.

In order to consult the whole content of the Real Decreto-Ley 5/2019, of March 1st, by which contingency measures are adopted before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union without having reached the agreement foreseen in article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union., click here.