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Britons living in Spain face weeks of chaos as they are banned from driving after a Government bungle over licence rules.
From today, tens of thousands of British expats are banned from using their UK driving licence on Spanish roads after the two governments failed to reach a post-Brexit agreement.
The change does not apply to holidaymakers, who can still use their UK driving licence.
Last night Whitehall sources blamed Spanish bureaucrats for delaying talks and missing the April 30 deadline.
Until now, Britons living in Spain have been able to use their DVLA-issued licences. Every other European country has agreed a post-Brexit deal.
Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith criticised the Spanish authorities, saying: ‘It’s a case of “Manana, manana [tomorrow, tomorrow]”. It’s time they pull their finger out and do what they agreed.’
Above: File photo of a woman driving a car. Britons living in Spain face weeks of chaos as they are banned from driving after a Government bungle over licence rules
Above: Madrid skyline. From today, tens of thousands of British expats are banned from using their UK driving licence on Spanish roads after the two governments failed to reach a post-Brexit agreement
A UK Government source said: ‘This could go on for a week or it could be longer. It should be temporary but we don’t know how temporary. In the meantime, British residents living in Spanish hill villages won’t be able to drive a car.’
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘An agreement to swap UK driving licences for Spanish licences has not yet been reached.
‘From May 1, UK licence holders who have been resident in Spain for more than six months and did not exchange their licence during the transition period will no longer be able to drive legally in Spain. We have agreed to rapidly accelerate talks and are urging the Spanish Government to bring forward interim measures.’
Until a deal is struck, UK expats will need to obtain a Spanish driving licence before getting back on the road.
Malaga-based Sam Britton-Beese said: ‘It’s ridiculous. Our application for residency was still in process before the deadline so we couldn’t register to exchange.’
Linda Rogers, originally from Coventry, said: ‘Our house is in the mountains and nothing is close by – I’ve tried to get into a driving school but nothing is available.’
The DGT, the Spanish equivalent of the DVLA, and Spain’s ministry of interior, were approached for comment last night.
lHolidaymakers on all-inclusive packages are being restricted to six alcoholic drinks a day at hotels in parts of Ibiza and Majorca.
Under new rules announced earlier this year in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour, only three tipples are allowed at lunch and three at dinner, with guests having to pay extra if they want more.
Source: Daily Mail