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Proposals also urge Generalitat Valenciana to guarantee social coverage to British citizens

Friday 28th October 2016


Mayor José Chulvi has proposed a motion calling on the governments of Spain and the United Kingdom to negotiate a bilateral agreement in the wake of the 'BREXIT' referendum vote. More than 5,300 registered residents of Xàbia originated in the United Kingdom and the mayor is calling for an agreement to ensure that British citizens continue to enjoy the rights they currently enjoy after the UK's proposed departure from the European Union, much like residents from other non-EU nations do. "We will fight where necessary to ensure that there is no discrimination and that they will continue to provide as much as, and as good as until now. Our commitment is firm and unequivocal in favour of maintaining the rights of all our citizens."

The full motion issued by the Mayor's office is reproduced below:


JOSÉ F. CHULVI ESPAÑOL, mayor and president of Xàbia Town Hall, using the powers vested in me by Law 7/1985 of 2nd April, regulating the bases of the Local System, and the Royal Decree 2568/1986, of 28th November, whereby the Regulation of Organisation, Functioning and Legal System of Local Bodies is approved, proposes to the plenary session of the Corporation the following

The decision of the British Government to leave the European Union has consequences that directly affect us as a society, and as a town. Since the second half of the twentieth century, the resident British community in Xàbia has grown and strengthened at every level. To the extent that we no longer speak of foreigners living in Xàbia but "xabieros" who were born far from here. In effect, more than 5,300 "xabieros”, originating from the United Kingdom are in this situation. For us, at this time, there can be no differences regarding rights, obligations and consideration among our citizens. We all shape and care for our community and we cannot lose sight of their success and establishment which is based on a harmonious coexistence among all the cultures represented amongst us.

Moreover, at the economic level, it is undeniable that the prosperity that Xàbia has experienced in the last fifty years is largely due to foreign inputs: people who, at a certain moment in their lives, decided to leave their country of origin and settle in our town and contribute their best. Obviously, we are not just speaking of investments but of personal relationships, and the increasingly stronger and deeper links between everyone who feels a part of Xàbia. At this time, having travelled the same road so far together, when we have mixed families, businesses, friends, colleagues, clubs, associations, projects - we cannot afford that everything should suddenly be cut off. Nor can we relinquish a sector of our citizens. For Xàbia, it would not only be the demise of a portion of its residents but a backwards step with serious consequences.

Also, for some years already, many Spanish families of "xabieros" have seen their sons and daughters travel to the UK in search of an opportunity for study or work. If we are unable to mitigate the potential damage of “Brexit”, that flow will be severely restricted. In addition, those who chose to go out to seek a better life or a rewarding experience may find their working rights and social coverage in a precarious situation.

At the political level, the 1999 Maastricht Treaty recognises the right of EU citizens to elect and be elected in municipal elections in Spain. That decision involved the adjusting the law to reality; the recognition of a consolidated situation and a fundamental advance in the normalisation of our relations. That electoral capacity granted full membership to our citizens, in the life of their town. Since then, not only have British citizens been represented on the Town Council and within the organisations of different political parties, but they have developed in-depth public endeavours on behalf of Xàbia: just briefly let me review their associative and charitable activity. They are the first to offer help when necessary, to ask for justifiable improvements to local areas and urbanisations, to defend our natural heritage, to show interest in our traditional culture, to invigorate our business; and ultimately, to make the town what it is.

In addition, the Regional Government of the Generalitat Valenciana, presided by Ximo Puig, has said that it will not abandon them. We will fight where necessary to ensure that there is no discrimination and that they will continue to provide as much as, and as good as until now. We are going to do this because they are residents of this town just like us. It should be pointed out that it is possible to enjoy these rights without belonging to the European Union as evidenced by reciprocal agreements that Spain has with Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.

As for us, the Town Council of Xàbia, our commitment is firm and unequivocal in favour of maintaining the rights of all our citizens. For all these reasons I propose:

1. To urge the governments of Spain and the United Kingdom to begin negotiations as soon as possible to reach an agreement that respects the social and political rights of British citizens in Spain and Spanish citizens in the UK,  just as they were at the beginning of this process.

2. To urge the government of the Generalitat Valenciana to guarantee social coverage to British citizens just as they have been, in those matters within its competence: Health, Education, Social Services, etc.

3. To forward this agreement immediately to the governments of Spain and Valencia, as well as the UK embassy in Spain.

José F. Chulvi Español
Mayor of Xàbia

Xàbia presenta una moción para instar a España y Reino Unido a negociar un acuerdo bilateral tras el “Brexit”
El alcalde, José Chulvi, ha recordado la importancia del colectivo británico, “perfectamente integrado en nuestra sociedad”

Salvaguardar los derechos de los ciudadanos británicos en España y de los españoles en Reino Unido tras el “Brexit”. Bajo esta premisa el Ayuntamiento de Xàbia ha aprobado hoy una moción para instar a negociar a los gobiernos de España y Reino Unido un acuerdo bilateral para paliar los efectos de la salida británica de la Unión Europea.

En Xàbia hay censados en este momento más de 5.300 británicos (la cifra real, sin embargo, es superior) que podrían perder sus derechos políticos y sus coberturas sociales después de que sus respectivos países abandonen la Unión Europea. Esto supondría no solo un perjuicio personal para los afectados, sino también, en palabras del alcalde de Xàbia, José Chulvi “un retroceso colectivo de graves consecuencias” por cuanto la comunidad extranjera está fuertemente enraizada en Xàbia y forma una parte esencial de la vida de la localidad a nivel económico, cultural y social. 

En el texto de la moción se alude a que “ya no hablamos de extranjeros que viven en Xàbia, sino de xabieros nacidos lejos de aquí. En en este momento no puede haber diferencias en cuanto a derechos, obligaciones y consideración entre ciudadanos. Todos formamos y cuidamos de nuestra comunidad”.

Crecimiento y consolidación
Desde mediados del siglo XX la importancia de la presencia británica en Xàbia es imprescindible para entender la transformación económica y social del municipio. Por eso, después de casi siete décadas de relación, el Ayuntamiento de la localidad ha manifestado su decisión “de no desamparar a un colectivo de vecinos que son tan de Xàbia como cualquiera de nosotros”. Estas relaciones no son solo económicas, sino también personales. Tal como reza la exposición de motivos de la moción “tenemos familias mixtas, negocios compartidos, amigos, compañeros, clubes, asociaciones, proyectos de futuro que no podemos permitirnos perder de golpe”.

Por otro lado, para los británicos, de consumarse la versión más restrictiva del Brexit, se perdería el derecho a elegir y a ser elegidos en las elecciones locales de que disfrutaban desde 1999. También se verían afectadas – y es un foco de preocupación importante en una población mayoritariamente envejecida – las coberturas sanitarias y el poder adquisitivo de las pensiones. Según el alcalde, José Chulvi, “sacar de golpe a cerca de 5.000 personas de la vida política de su pueblo es una injusticia y daña al propio concepto de representatividad. Si queremos que las elecciones reflejen la voluntad mayoritaria, no podemos sacar a una parte elevada del censo”.

Asimismo, Xàbia no olvida en su propuesta a los españoles que cada año viajan a Reino Unido a estudiar o trabajar y que, a su vez, verían drásticamente disminuidos sus derechos y coberturas.

Acuerdo de reciprocidad
Por todo lo anterior, y en la línea de lo manifestado en su momento por el gobierno de la Generalitat Valenciana, el Ayuntamiento de Xàbia aboga por proteger los derechos de su comunidad de residentes británicos. Para ello en el pleno celebrado el pasado jueves 27 de octubre, se acordó solicitar formalmente a los gobiernos de España y Reino Unido que inicien las negociaciones para alcanzar un acuerdo de reciprocidad que permita paliar las consecuencias del Brexit y establezca un régimen de excepción como ocurre con los ciudadanos de Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Nueva Zelanda, Paraguay, Noruega o Islandia, entre otros; todos ellos pertenecientes a países no comunitarios.


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