Feelings are running high in the business sector in Spain. The UK is the number one European investor in the country. Around 700 British investors generate more than 200,000 jobs. The defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit plans raises concern for the future.
Christopher Dottie is the president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona: “I do not think Britain decided such an economic pain and certainly being few weeks away of possible no-deal Brexit our 300 members are very worried and hope that there is a solution fast."
“Every company is worried whether in April they will have the licence to trade, if the staff will be able to stay were they are and really the licensing of a lot of sectors depends on being European companies.”
In 2017, bilateral trade amounted to over 53 billion euros, 20 million British tourists visit Spain every year and there are around 300,000 British residents. According to Dottie, Spain should be leading the negotiations to ensure that there is a good trade environment but business sector is skeptical over the deal:
“What we felt speaking to the members of the Chamber is that it is going to be impossible to agree and ratify a deal, considering the red lines the British Government has imposed and their interpretation behind the vote. Something has to change we cannot carrying on hoping that a negotiation that has taken 2 years will change with no good reason,” he says.
Up to now Brexit has not affected the commitment of British investors in Spain but it remains to be seen what happens after the setback at the Parliament and now that the divorce date is getting closer.