New British ambassador arrives in Spain

Photo: FCO.

Updated 22 August 2019: Hugh Elliott, a member of the UK’s Diplomatic Service since 1989, succeeds Simon Manley as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain and non-resident Ambassador to Andorra. The Ambassador takes up this new role having previously been Director of Communications in the Department for Exiting the European Union.

On his arrival, Hugh Elliott said: “With a wealth of cultural, commercial, and people-to-people links, the relationship between the UK and Spain is like no other, and I am proud and honoured to represent my Queen and country here in Spain.”

For the Ambassador, this strong connection with Spain has been an important part of his life for decades. “I met my wife Toñi while working as an English teacher at the University of Salamanca, Spain was my first diplomatic posting in the nineties and my two children were born in Madrid. I can understand why so many UK nationals have chosen to make Spain their home,” he said.

He added that “We are approaching an important milestone as the UK prepares to leave the European Union on 31 October”. His message was one of reassurance to UK nationals currently living in Spain that “We’ve given EU citizens living in the UK the legal certainty of their right to live and remain in the United Kingdom. And I’m very pleased that the Spanish Government has put in place, through the Royal Decree, the same guarantees for British citizens in Spain.”

Mr Elliott acknowledged that people have questions and concerns, and undertook that he and his team would be working hard to answer them. He also urged people to sign up to the Living in Guide (gov.uk/living-in-spain) where they will find the latest, accurate information on Brexit.

Two key actions that UK nationals should do now is to ensure that they are correctly registered as a resident and registered for healthcare as a resident.

There is a video message from Hugh Elliott to UK nationals HERE, and he can also be followed on twitter HERE, where he has just posted “Sincere thanks to @112canarias & all teams battling in extreme conditions to fight fires in Gran Canaria. Relieved to hear they’re finally receding. About 5m Brits visit Canaries each year, which are important part of the British-Spanish relationship”.

Original post 15 October 2018: The Foreign Office has announced that Hugh Elliott will become the UK’s new ambassador to Spain next summer replacing the current ambassador Simon Manley. At present, the new ambassador is Director of Communication and Stakeholders in DExEU, the Department for Exiting the EU, but he has an extensive and international background over 30 years in the FCO. “I’m honoured to be the United Kingdom’s new ambassador to Spain from next summer”, Mr Elliott said, expressing his “great delight at returning to the country where I held my first diplomatic post, and at the prospect of working towards a bilateral relationship that is deep, rich and vital for both our countries”.

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