Andalucia asks EU for post-Brexit fund to counter potential tourism losses and Gibraltar border woes

LAST UPDATED: 10 Jan, 2018 @ 10:31
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Andalucia

ANDALUCIA has called for the EU to create a fund for European regions especially affected by Brexit. 

Officials have raised fears of the impact on tourism and Spanish workers who travel across the border to Gibraltar every day for work.

According to its submission to a report by the EU’s Committee of the Regions, ‘58.7% of Spanish workers in Gibraltar will be affected’ by migration changes once Britain leaves the bloc.

The idea of a fund to protect areas hit by Brexit is  supported by a number of officials from European tourism hubs popular with British tourists.

Spain receives more than 12 million visitors from the UK each year and Brits continue to be the largest contributor to its tourism sector.

Alexander Goransson, lead analyst at Euromonitor, warned that a drop in UK tourists could pose a serious risk to Spanish businesses which rely on British holidaymakers.

He said: “Tourism expenditure to Spain stood at £50billion (€55billion) in 2016.

“Some £12.7billion (€14billion) of that came from the UK – that’s 26%.

SIZZLING: Benalmadena beach during summer

“So we are actually the biggest contributor to the Spanish tourist economy.”

There have been similar calls for post-Brexit help in the eastern Mediterranean.

Stavros Stavrinides, an official from Cyprus, wants a ‘special fund’ to deal with post-Brexit budget discrepancies.

He wrote: “If the EU establishes a special fund for local cities and regions, it will be a good measure to avoid any negative consequences of Brexit in other EU countries.”

The proposed funds may need a series of big cash injections to help certain areas most at risk of losing out from the withdrawal of Britain’s EU contributions.

The EU is facing a £9billion financial black hole from the UK’s departure, leading Brexiteers to argue this gives Britain an upper hand in negotiations.

Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said: “It is highly significant that other EU member states’ authorities are beginning to engage with the consequences of a no-deal Brexit because it is something that should concern them greatly.

“I think the pressure is mounting on the EU negotiators to deliver a sensible deal which disrupts as little as possible.”

Peter Bone, Tory MP for Wellingborough, said: “The EU needs to do a deal with us much more than we need to do a deal with them.

“That’s why it is very surprising to me that we have offered £39billion to allow them to sell £70billion more goods into this country each year than we sell to them.

“There will be a lot of pressure from companies within countries within the EU for their governments to do a trade deal.

“This points out why the likelihood of a trade deal is there – because it benefits them more than us.

“Everything points to doing a proper free trade deal with us, and I’m afraid it is only the posturing of the European elites and their governments that they are actually trying to do something that is against the interests of the people in the EU.

“So if this report helps shove the EU elite to do the right thing for the European Union and trade with us on a free trade basis then that’s all the better.”

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