Hugh Elliot, British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra has broadcast the up-to-date situation regarding the exchange of driving licenses from British to Spanish.
He once again apologised for all the stress and inconvenience it must be causing some people. Furthermore, he did acknowledge that many are finding these updates frustrating as there appears to be no change. He said he was unable to go into lots of detail or give a running commentary of what has been discussed during the ongoing negotiations.
However, he did assure that everyone is working on the driving license exchange situation every day. And, furthermore, they are genuinely making progress.
Elliot once again stated he was unable to answer individual questions on social media. However, he did say he reads all comments. Therefore, during his broadcast, he addressed the most common three questions;
Most people commented they were happy for their data to be shared if that meant getting back on the road. However, Elliot clarified, “the data that Spain is seeking relates largely to those visiting Spain and driving on their UK licenses, rather than the data of residents”. He continued to say, “he recognised this was all the more frustrating if you are a resident. However, the better news is that we will be able to resolve this issue”.
The second of the most common questions being asked by expats was as to why the interim measure that was previously in place cannot just be reinstated. Thus, allowing people to continue to drive using their UK licenses in the meantime. Elliot responded by saying, “this is of course something that we asked Spain for, but the fact is that they haven´t agreed to it”.
However, the ambassador then went on to describe some positive news. He said, “Spain has agreed to a clause that will allow everyone back on the road from the moment the agreement is signed. This will be for a period of up to six months to allow people time to exchange their licenses”.
If and when will a deal be reached?
Elliot´s response to this question was, “I can´t make any promises on exact timings because we are still in negotiations and there are no cast iron guarantees. But yes, I am confident that we will reach an agreement. We are genuinely in the final stages”.
Matter of weeks
He finished by saying, “I expect it to take a matter of weeks, not months. It is our top priority in the Embassy. And we are working on it every day together with our colleagues in London.