Currently for those who have already decided to take up residence here in Spain, it has been on the news recently about Spaniards being asked to leave Brussels, after being without work for 6 months, so that ruling could affect out of work UK nationals having problems with finding a job.
Back in the late 80s, I remember always having to carry my passport on me as well as actually being stopped by the police and asked to produce my official documents. I could only legally stay for 3 months in Spain and also had a visa stamp in my passport that specified my status as a tourist.
When I decided to start working properly in Spain I become a resident and was given permission to work as an English Teacher. So back in the late 80s and I had to get my recently achieved T.O.E.F.L (teaching English as a foreign language) qualification from Hilderstone College (Broadstairs) recognised by the Spanish education board.
This involved a couple of trips to Madrid and quite a long winded and expensive process, but eventually I had my papers all official to begin living and working in Spain, so no more having to be always be looking over my shoulder.
I later became involved in a company that managed a number of high street businesses in Alicante including The Bodyshop. I became a member of the local shopkeepers association and eventually in about 1995/6 became President of the "Asociación de Comerciantes de Maisonnave" for 6 consecutive years. It was actually working in Spain that improved my understanding of the Spanish language, you might say thrown in at the deep end, but I am now fluent in both written and spoken Spanish.
I have lived in the centre of Alicante, as well as in Albuferreta, Playa San Juan, Alicante Golf and Busot, but I am currently promoting "living in El Campello" and giving advice to other people who may be considering living in this part of Spain, known as the Costa blanca.