By: Marylu Bautista

We currently have few days left until Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union. The commission claims the EU is fully prepared for Britain’s departure. However, Brexit’s Secretary Stephen Barclay does not believe it and expresses his concerns.

How Spain’s industries will be affected by Brexit

According to Barclay, if the British government and the European Parliament do not agree on a deal with no backstop or terms of arrangement then many country’s trading industries including Spain’s sea food industry will be affected. According to the secretary, a hard Brexit is going to bring changes to the seafood industry specifically the fish industry. The UK exported 1.34 billion of euros worth of seafood and aquatic products to the EU in 2018, according to data from the International Trade Commission (ITC).

The secretary warned the audience that a hard Brexit could result in tariffs for sensitive and iconic Spaniard products such as wine, olive oil, fish, and bacon. These tariffs will impact business in Spain, which is why Barclay claims it is also in Spain’s best interest for the UK and the EU parliament to create a creative and flexible solution. “As a government we want to be pro-business as possible. We are pro-business in our approach but clearly, we need to protect our domestic producers. We want to be open we want to be working with Spanish business,” Barclay said.

A deal that benefits both sides

Barclay believes that the backstops can be replaced, in ways that protect Spain’s interest and don’t harm Spain’s sea food industry. However, Barclay said the EU controls whether they leave the backstop or not. Barclay wants a deal that will pass the UK and European parliament and will benefit both sides.  Currently he does not see that happening since according to him, the EU is continuing to insist on tax which the UK cannot meet, and that the UK parliament has rejected three times already.

During Barclays  emphasized UK’s desire to work with Spain’s businesses. He also reiterated the value the UK has for Spanish citizens residing in their country and stated that the responsibility to come up with a creative and flexible solution lies with both sides. “We risk being trapped in a zero-sum game and that would lead to a zero-sum outcome.” Barclay said. In order to avoid that “your vote (Spain’s) when it arrives would be highly appreciated.”