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Prospect of Brexit being felt by EU heavyweights Spain and Germany

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Boris Johnson wants an election in exchange for more Brexit debate
Boris Johnson wants an election in exchange for more Brexit debate
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Brexit has not yet happened - but already the uncertainty has affected trade between Britain and its European partners.

In Spain, the tourism sector has suffered, says Euronews' deputy editor-in-chief, Javier Villagarcia.

“There are more than a million British people who travel to Spain every year, because of the Brexit uncertainty last year there were some 120,000 fewer tourists than normal,” said Spaniard Villagarcia.

He said the possibility of a hard Brexit was a major concern.

“Spain is the favourite destination for the British not only in terms of tourism but also living there. There are 330,000 British living there now - and that’s just people registered in the embassies, there could be two or three times more British people living there, who are not declared because of fiscal reasons.

"And one-third of them are pensioners: so if there’s a deal, nothing will change, they’re going to keep their rights.

"But what about if there’s no deal? They’re going to be in limbo. [UK foreign minister] Dominic Raab sent a letter to the British expats in Spain two weeks ago saying “don’t worry, we’re going to take care of you” - but you have to go the embassy or the consulate very regularly, to check on your situation.

“Another thing is that there are 180,000 Spanish people registered in the UK, so if things work out badly for the British, they’re going to go badly for the Spanish too.”

Lena Roche, from Euronews’s German service, said economists are very worried about Brexit because of the close trade ties between Germany and Britain.

“It has already had an impact,” she said. “In 2016 Britain was Germany’s fifth most important trading partner, now it is seventh.”

Watch Javier's and Lena's interviews in the video player, above.

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