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Council of Ministers

Creation of the Consulate-General in Manchester

Friday 5 April 2019

Spain had a consulate-general in Manchester until 2011, when it was closed within the context of budget cuts.

The reasons for the new establishment of the consulate in Manchester include the exponential increase in the number of Spanish people resident in the UK, largely as a result of the economic crisis. From the end of 2011 to December 2018, the number of people entered in the Consular Register at the Consulate-General in London increased from 68,668 to 128,232. In the same period, the number registered at the Consulate-General in Edinburgh increased from 10,782 to 25,326. These official figures do not include the considerable number of Spanish people who have moved in recent years to the UK, but who for a variety of reasons have not registered with a Spanish consulate. Some estimates suggest they number a similar total to those who have registered.

Due to budget restrictions in recent years, the spectacular increase in figures of Spanish residents in the UK has not been reflected in a parallel and equivalent effort in terms of staff and material resources at the consulates-general in London and Edinburgh.

The prospect of an imminent Brexit makes this situation even more worrying, as even if the UK approves a Withdrawal Agreement and implements a transition period until 2020, the unease and doubts of our nationals in the UK can be expected to increase, and with them the queries, procedures and requests handled by the consulates.

The Consulate will have a head with the category of Consul General, and the necessary staff for its operation, which will be determined in the corresponding list of jobs for civil servants and the inventory of non-civil servant personnel abroad.

The expenses originating from the opening, installation and operation of the consulate-general created by this Royal Decree will be covered by credits from various budget items within the Directorate-General for the Foreign Service allocated to Foreign Representation.

Given that the opening of the consulate is planned for October or thereabouts, the costs of this new Representation in 2019 will amount to 204,460.67 euros for the first three months of its operation.

The opening of the Consulate-General in Manchester will not involve any net increase in personnel costs with respect to the new actions planned by the Ministry, as the increased costs derived from the civil service posts (consul and consulate officer) and the two posts on ordinary employment contracts (porter-chauffer and assistant) will be offset by a reduction in costs derived from moving and abolishing four posts.

Non official translation