Growing concern in Spain about the consequences of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, with or without a deal, and its impact on the country's strong fishing industry. The issue has been debated in Spain's congress.
The Spanish minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Luis Planas admitted to the Senate that a no deal Brexit will have a direct impact on Spain's fisheries sector. This is because the Spanish fleet will not be able to continue catching in British waters and this would demand contingency measures.
Questioned by Basque Senator Jose Maria Cazalis on what measures the Spanish government was taking to avoid the negative consequences of a no deal Brexit on the fishing sector, the minister defined the current negotiations situation as uncertain but he added the Spanish government is working on how to address any possible outcome.
This refers to Spanish vessels directly involved in British waters, and the fleet in the Falkland Islands waters.
Our priority is to retain access to fisheries resources in the same conditions as currently. If there is a Brexit deal there will be a transitory period until December 2020, and in the case of no deal, we will have to apply measures to contain the damage, admitted minister Planas.
Senator Cazalis suggested that access to British fishing grounds should be linked, --with or with no tariffs--, to the import of British fisheries produce to Spain. ”In case London vetoes access, Spain should implement tariffs and limit introduction of UK produce to the EU
For Spain in the short term the problem is mainly the hake caught in British waters and the impact of missing the 4.000 tons. The number of vessels with Spanish flag in the area are 92 to which must be added 23 licensed by the Falkland Islands.
According to the Senate debate, the overall sum is estimated in some 27 million Euros which includes 9.000 tons of which 4.000 hake equivalent to 14 million Euros annually.