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Spanish communities fear the impact of a hard Brexit

A report submitted to Brussels alerts on the effects on tourism, investment and agriculture

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Spanish communities fear the impact of a hard Brexit

Frozen investments, tourists who change destinations, agro-alimentary exports to low... The Spanish communities fear impact of a hard Brexit on ir economies. Around 40 regions across Europe have analyzed possible detriments of British exit. Spain is country that has sent most contributions to European Committee of Regions, body representing se territories in EU and coordinator of study. The text, which has been accessed by country, highlights "current uncertainty" regarding negotiations between Brussels and London and anticipates "immediate effects on trade and movement of people", including tourists.

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Eight autonomous communities, including Catalonia, have communicated ir fears to this Brussels-based agency. The lack of government in that community and fact that previous members of regional committee have been suspended by application of article 155 have moved away from one of richest territories in Spain of representation in Brussels. Each of impact tables is signed by President of community. These are main results:

Madrid. Trade and tourism are two areas most affected by Brexit. Madrid points out that UK is its main foreign investor since 2009 and that British exit can represent "a possible abrupt fall in volume of investment coming from United Kingdom, at least until new EU-UK relationship is Fully in force. " The Government of Cristina Cifuentes choose to seek positive angle to British abandonment: "More British companies can feel need to settle in Madrid to serve internal market, since y will not be able to access European market from United Kingdom" .

In order to alleviate effects of this tectonic movement in EU, Madrid has created a plan, in cooperation with central government. The region calls on Brussels "to mitigate, as far as possible, impact of a hard Brexit." That is to say, a British exit without agreement between two parties, with very damaging consequences for European economy and mainly for British.

Basque Country. The Basque Country is concerned with sectors or than those of most of communities analyzed: automobile, aerospace, energy, as well as financial services and railway industry. The United Kingdom is fourth Basque exporting destination and one of most attractive territories for investment, with more than 50 Basque companies present on British soil. Although re is currently no data to clarify financial impact, " Basque Country will be directly affected by British exit from EU," document notes. Beyond negotiation with United Kingdom that centralizes EU envoy, Michel Barnier, Euskadi calls for activation of " necessary mechanisms" for regions and municipalities to participate in process.

Andalusia. The UK's change of status will affect border with Gibraltar, foreign investment, tourism, agriculture, and industry. The Andalusian government stresses that 58.7% of Spanish workers in Gibraltar will be harmed. Around 10,000 Spaniards cross gate daily to go to work in British colony. Andalusia also reveals enormous magnitude of British tourism in region: it contributes 1.2% of its GDP. The text highlights potential losses in common agricultural policy by departure of London from European budget. The changes could be 190 million euros a year less for community. As solutions, Susana Díaz ' government points out a strategy to "influence British market" with objectives and strategies, without giving furr details. And it calls on Brussels-as do or European regions-to create a European fund to mitigate harms of Brexit.

Valencia. The most affected sectors will be agriculture, industry, tourism, health, education and social sectors. This community gars a good part of British community resident in Spain (100,000, one third of total). In addition, United Kingdom constitutes its third exporting destination and fears that "a possible fall in tourism will affect real estate market and services".

The Valencian executive details a good number of regional contacts to try to soften Brexit and calls on Brussels to maintain Community budget, whose framework since 2021 should be negotiated now.

Balearic Islands. This community places as priorities economy in general and tourism, real estate investment and navigation in particular. Baleares predicts an impact on services because tourism sector and or related activities account for 80% of regional GDP. "Any change in freedom of movement [of European citizens] will be felt, since 25% of tourists are from United Kingdom." In addition, this country is second foreign investor in Balearic Islands.

Canary Islands. The government of Fernando Clavijo worries about impact on agriculture, tourism, investment, alcoholic beverages, motor and real estate. As with or regions, UK is main destination for agri-food products. "A sudden withdrawal without a free trade agreement of goods and services could ruin this situation," document admits.

Castilla-La Mancha. This regional executive puts emphasis on maintenance of European funds, at risk for loss of net contribution from United Kingdom, which will be an annual hole of about 10 billion euros in community budgets.

Murcia. Agriculture and tourism will be areas with greatest impact of Brexit. UK is " largest tourist source in Murcia (43%) and second exporting destination", text starts. Like Castilla La-Mancha, this community prevents loss of EU structural funds as a result of British divorce.

The loss of funds worries regions

Both Catalonia, Sonora except for this Brexit survey, as well as or European territories will have more opportunities to move ir concerns to regional body of representatives in Brussels. The European Committee of Regions has sent m anor round of questions about consequences of British exit from European Union. The results will be known in March.

Although it will be central governments of Member States that have to ratify future Brexit pact, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of European Committee of Regions, urges regions to be involved throughout process. "The final agreement between EU and United Kingdom, as well as all actions that we will have to implement to ensure its implementation, should take into account specific local and regional needs to minimize socio-economic impact of this unfortunate Divorce, "says Lambertz. This body notes with great concern one of indirect effects of Brexit: loss of European funds for regional development. The European Commission has already warned that a net taxpayer's farewell to community coffers like United Kingdom will force reduction of money for different policies. To minimize impact, Brussels urges States to contribute more.


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