Canary vegetable exports already affected by Brexit

The European Commission said yesterday that the exit agreement negotiated with the United Kingdom is "the best and the only one possible", and made it clear that it is not open to renegotiation.

All this uncertainty is taking a toll not only on the other countries of the EU, but also on the Canary Islands, which is unsure about the extent to which it could be affected by Brexit.

The latest report from the Canary Government on the possible consequences of Brexit dates from October 3, 2018, before the British Parliament rejected the May agreement. Now that everything points to the fact that the United Kingdom's departure will be dramatic, it is more important than ever to know what the impact of that will be.

According to this report, the gradual depreciation of the pound has made Spanish exports more expensive, mainly in sectors such as automobiles, agro-business or machinery. For the Canary Islands, agricultural exports to the United Kingdom are especially important. Vegetables, especially tomatoes and cucumbers, accounted for 40% of the Islands' total exports in the first half of 2018; a figure that, according to the report of the regional Executive, has been reduced by 15.5%.

In fact, in the first half of 2018, cucumber exports fell by 35.3%, and those of tomatoes were reduced by 5.7%. Therefore, an exit without a free trade agreement for the exchange of goods and services would negatively affect trade between the Canary Islands and the United Kingdom, and the Canary economy as a whole would consequently be affected.



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