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Tariffs planned on over 70 million exports to the UK from 2021

| News | Tax / Litigation

Belén Palao and José Miguel Soriano analyse the future of Spanish exports in the face of UK tariffs

The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, effective from 1 February, will have consequences for all orders. The EU authorities have endeavoured to set out a negotiated Brexit with an amicable divorce, as opposed to the "Marriage Story" script outlined last autumn, with both parties closed to negotiation. Perhaps in the purely political sphere "soft Brexit" has permeated society, but in commercial aspects reality points the other way. In Cordoba alone there are more than 72 million euros at stake, the figure for exports by local companies to the UK in 2019. In the agri-food sector, 120 companies are affected and, in general, 15% of exporters have business there and will be affected by Brexit.

To understand the consequences of a hard Brexit for Cordoba, the employers' association CECO organized yesterday an information day focused on agro-food exports, although its conclusions can be adapted to the whole productive sector. As Antonio Díaz, president of CECO, said, "there is no one who is ready to go back to paying taxes and customs". The spotlight of the day, in which about fifteen companies and groups from Cordoba participated, fell on Belén Palao, partner of the firm Andersen Tax & Legal. This expert in customs procedures told the businesspeople without any half-heartedness: "The lettuces stay in the containers".

Palau began by detailing the three models of free trade agreements that could serve as a basis for establishing the trade relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom: the existing treaties with Norway - which is not part of the Union but is part of the economic area -, Turkey - the eternal aspirant - and Canada. The first two are already out of the question, as they imply, in one way or another, a transfer of sovereignty or competences by the EU's trading partner, and these are precisely some of the reasons that drove the Eurosceptics in the United Kingdom. All that remains, therefore, is the letter and spirit of the pact with Canada, which provides for "equal conditions in the negotiation" and a reduction or elimination of tariffs on many products and services, as Palau explained.

Since Brexit was approved in a referendum in June 2016, Córdoba's exports to the United Kingdom have not stopped growing. Exports, Andersen partner José Miguel Soriano explained, were the solution to the crisis for Spanish companies, and it worked well.

You can read the full news article in ABC.

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