THE Valencian government has hit back at prospective UK trade tariffs of up to 16% on Spanish oranges, lemons and tangerines.

Regional minister for agriculture, Mireira Molla, has complained to national minister for agriculture, Luis Planas, and trade minister Maria Reyes Maroto the taxes would ‘severely damage’ Costa Blanca fruit farmers.

The UK tariffs would kick in on January 1, 20201, in the event that no trade deal has been struck with Spain.

Mollá told the Madrid ministers the tariffs would be another body blow to the fruit growers after losing trade with America due to taxes imposed by the Trump administration.

The proposed British rates would see tangerines and satsumas taxed at 16%, with rates of up to 10% for oranges and 6% for lemons.

Molla added: “Nine per cent of fruit exports go to Britain, which is our fourth largest foreign market. We would lose out to competitors like Egypt who will have no tariff barriers on fruit being shipped into the UK.”

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