Nottinghamshire ex-pats living in Spain say they fear being forced to return home by a ‘Brexit’ vote.
The UK will go to the polls on June 23 in an ‘in-or-out’ vote on whether to leave the European Union.
Those wanting the country to remain in the union say it is vital for jobs and economic and trade stability.
But supporters of the vote leave argument say the EU has too much control over British law and the relationship no longer represents value for money for the UK.
Notts TV News has traced several Nottinghamshire ex-pats now living on the Costa Almeria
on the south coast of Spain.
Picture: Mojacar is home to a small community of Nottinghamshire ex-pats
Nearly all expressed fears that an ‘out’ result could mean they are forced to return to Britain as they fear losing access to healthcare and other services in the event of a UK exit.
Edwalton couple Elaine and David Brown started running a cancer support charity in the picturesque town of Mojacar after a health scare for Elaine.
“Eight years ago I had cancer and the first time I had it I realised just how difficult it was to be in Spain and be in an alien situation,” said Elaine.
“But the healthcare is very good here, there are very good hospitals, but the after care is completely missing.
“The unstable feeling is ‘what will happen?’ Nobody knows with this referendum how leaving will affect us. I think it’s just a very scary time.”
David says he’s tried to find out how the couple’s rights could be affected if the UK leaves, but says he’s yet to get any meaningful answers.
“You just don’t get any information, it’s all rumours,” he said.
“I think other ex-pats in other foreign countries feel the same – we don’t know anything. We just don’t know where we are going or what we are going to do.
“If push comes to shove and we have to return to the UK, so be it, that’s what we’ll have to do.”
Spain is the most popular destination in Europe for British people moving abroad – around 300,000 are thought to live there, although estimates can vary.
Brits who work in Spain and pay national health insurance can get the same healthcare as any other resident.
But it is unclear whether this arrangement would continue if Britiain were to leave the union.
Elaine added: “I was in the position of actually being a tax payer in this country which gave me health cover before I got cancer.
“But the problem for some people who are out here is they haven’t got the same history here as me and they could suddenly get diagnosed with cancer or any other illness and could struggle to get immediate health cover.”
Brian Cave, of campaign group votes for Expat Brits said: “EU laws protect us – they enable us to live here, to work here, to get health cover, it all comes from European protection.
“If that dies all hell is let loose on us, frankly, and on our way of life.”
For more on the Notts community in Spain and the EU, watch Notts TV News on Freeview channel 7, Sky 117 and Virgin 159 on Wednesday May 11.