Charlie – And A Chocolate Factory: UK Government In Talks To Lease Spanish Coastal Resort

The UK government is in final negotiations to lease Benidorm, with only a few details remaining to be hammered out. Exclusive report by The Valencian…

The British government is in final negotiations with their Spanish counterparts to acquire Benidorm, the editorial team of The Valencian has learned. There are two options on the table, which are proving a sticking point. The first, preferred by the Spanish, is called the Hong Kong option, and like its Asian counterpart, this would be on a 99-year lease. The second, preferred by the British government but objected to by the Spanish, is called the Gibraltar option, insofar as this would be signed “in perpetuity”.

Officials say the area has been chosen because English has become the first language in Benidorm, and point to the easy availability of cocaine, known locally as “charlie” dropped to your door, or table outside the pub, by Deliveroo-style scooter riders, as well as the fact you are never more than six feet from a full English breakfast, just as with rats in London.

The leased area would extend from Villajoyosa in the south to Serra Gelada Natural Park in the north. If the deal goes through, the famous Spanish seaside resort will get a new owner and a new name, too – Bennydorm, according to classified documents seen by journalists at The Valencian.

The process began almost a year ago, during the UK and Spain’s State of Emergency, when UK authorities realised that the future of British tourists in Spain might be jeopardised. Because Gibraltar was already overcrowded and lacking nice beaches, the UK government began looking for alternatives. 

One outstanding issue is that the Valencian government insists on excluding the Valor chocolate factory in Villajoyosa from the deal and redrawing the leased area accordingly, but this is not expected to be a deal-breaker. 

A new airport will be designed to replicate the famous Doncaster Sheffield airport in the UK, and it will be called Robin Hood International. When asked how “international” the airport will be, our source conceded: “There will be flights only between Robin Hood and the UK,” but added, “don’t forget, we have 30 airports when you include Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and St Mary’s on the Scilly Isles.”

A source on the Spanish side told The Valencian: “If we can nudge this across the line, it’s a win-win. We have lost a tonne of money through the clampdown on tourism, and let’s face it, Benidorm is as good as British, so we might as well get some ‘sausage and mash’, as our British friends call it, and we do not mean the regular meals at The Britannia Arms (two-for-one Monday to Thursdays, lunchtime or before 8pm), jajaja

“And if it works, we can apply the template to most of the Costa del Sol, large parts of the Costa Blanca and Costa Brava, plus even Murcia. We need to dream big.”

However, not everyone is overjoyed. Sheila Babcock, 57, married to Pedro Sanchez, 56, and owners of La Gata Negra lap-dancing club and breakfast caff in Benidorm, said: “Me and Pete didn’t vote for Brexit – well, Pete couldn’t, in fairness but you know what I mean – to end up being part of the UK, we got cheap flights already, what a waste of money!

“Plus, now my neighbours in Southend-on-Sea have had to go home, they was proper awful, and I was happy to see the back of ‘em. This is like putting out a big welcome mat to let the fat idiots back in.

“Plus, they still owe us for their last fish ‘n’ chips, plus beers. We just got rid of the riff-raff; this makes a bloody mockery of why we voted for Brexit.  

“Still, you can’t please all the people, all the bleedin’ time, I s’pose” concludes Sheila with an eyeroll, putting out her fag on a plate with remnants of egg and black pudding while Pedro gets on with his frying with an air of weary resignation.

Want some real news? Visit The Valencian ( to learn what is really going on in your beloved Valencia…

Story by freelance journalist and writer, Eugene Costello, formerly based in east London and now living in Valencia, Spain, founder of The Valencian

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