Fears for Spain’s defence industry post-Brexit as figures show UK accounted for more than a third of arms sales last year

Two-thirds of Spanish arms sales went to EU members or NATO partners

LAST UPDATED: 2 Jun, 2017 @ 15:57
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Refueler bought by the UK
Refueler bought by the UK

TOURISM isn’t the only business in Spain that’s under threat from Brexit.

Last year, the UK was the country’s biggest customer in the arms industry and there are fears it will be unable to keep this up after leaving the EU.

As part of an EU arms programme, Spain sold Britain €1.3 billion worth of weaponry in 2016, representing a massive 33.2% of total sales.

According to the Secretary of State for Trade, Spain increased its total weapon sales by 8.9% to just over €4 billion, accounting for 1.6% of total exports.

And for the past ten years, the UK has been among the top four buyers of Spanish arms.

Last year, the UK bought four Airbus A400M transport planes and two Airbus Multi Role Transport Tanker (MRTT) air-to-air refueling aircraft, along with spare parts for the Eurofighter 2000, all of them part of EU arms programs.

Britain is expected to remain part of these programmes after it leaves the EU, but it will find it harder to join future projects, which could deprive the Spanish defense industry of its main market.

Two-thirds of Spanish arms sales went to EU members or NATO partners, with a third spread out among 52 countries, chief among them Egypt, Oman, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

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5 COMMENTS

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    • Wolfgang, I doubt very much that Saudi Arabia would purchase anything Spain has to offer regarding military equipment that Mr. Trump could not supply, such as deadly proven rocket systems or small arm stuff that Spain produce. Besides the Saudi’s would not like to upset “Donald” as he can be, as you well know, unpredictable. Ask Mr. Trump!. Da

  1. Who said the UK won’t be buying? They quite likely will continue buying if a sensible agreement between the UK & the EU can be reached.

  2. Mr. Trunk achieved two things:
    – EU countries about to spend more on defence.
    – EU indicating it should build it’s own joined army (because Trunk hinted to break NATO vows).
    As those countries, who are still in the EU, have an open market, where do you think EU countries, with extra budgets, and a mission to reforce Europe, will buy their arms?
    That buying power is far bigger than the UK has. Spain will get new clients in no time.
    Quoting the Owl: “the whole eu should have been more respectful. Too late now.” Asking the poor Owl if he truly believes to be of superior blood. Even if you let your future generation down, I won’t.

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