Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he thinks a deal can quickly be worked out with Britain to defend the rights of British expats in Spain after Brexit.

“I am absolutely convinced that we will reach an agreement so that these people will not be affected by political decisions,” Rajoy said in an interview with the AFP news agency.

“I hope that we will soon be able to tell them: Don’t worry, nothing is going to change for the Spaniards in the United Kingdom, nor for the Britons in Spain,” he said.

He said the negotiations would start after an EU summit that will convene once Britain formally begins its EU divorce proceedings, expected for the end of March.

He also noted the importance of British tourism to Spain, which attracts more visitors from Britain than any other country.

“Last year 17 million Britons came to Spain, and we want that to continue,” he said. “They like it, and so do we.”

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