THE mass exodus of Brits from the census has finally come to an end as Brexit looms ever closer.
According to the latest figures, the number of registered Brits in Malaga has grown for the first time since 2013.
As of October this year, 47,193 Britons are officially registered in the province.
It’s a far cry from the 76,931 registered in 2013, a number which began to plummet as the pound stagnated and housing costs began to recover, particularly on the Costa del Sol.
The Brexit vote in 2016 only caused the number to fall further until recent months, when the threat to currently held rights suddenly became more realised.
The most affected town has been Mijas, where more than 10% of residents are British.
There are now 8,865 Brits officially registered in the municipality, with 324 signing on in the past two months alone.
Town hall sources they are prepared for another wave of registrations as Brexit gets closer.
“We continue to work closely with the associations of British residents and with the Consulate to try to respond to the uncertainty that British residents living in Mijas are feeling,” said mayor Josele González.
“Some of these families chose to move their family and businesses to our town more than 20 years ago, we cannot leave them helpless.”
Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Estepona, Marbella and Alhaurin el Grande, together with Mijas, are home to more than half of British residents in the province.
Fuengirola, which has seen more than 200 new British registrations this year, says it is satisfied with how the process is going.
“It’s great that, in the face of a situation like Brexit, British citizens who have been residing in Fuengirola for years have decided to stay here and register instead of going back home,” said councillor Rodrigo Romero.
“It’s a sign that they are at ease here and enjoying a high quality of life.”
A majority of the new registrations were made by Brits who had been living in the area for at least four years, suggesting Brexit was a likely factor in them signing on.
Once ‘Brexit’ is resolved, the Immigration Office will be in charge of processing residencies.
Even so, Britons who want to stay are obliged to request a certificate of registration in the European Union, issued by Policia Nacional.