The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, spoke to members of the British Chamber of Commerce on Marbella on Friday, urging calm among business leaders in the face of the uncertainty surrounding the future Brexit.
'Brexit and beyond' was the theme of his talk, which was introduced by Derek Langley, Andalusian vice president of the BCC, and preceded by the mayor of Marbella, José Bernal.
Manley reassured British business owners in Spain that the objective of the British government in the Brexit negotiations will be to achieve the best possible result for all sides. He assured that the British government would continue to look after businesses already established in Spain as well as safeguard the rights of British citizens living in the EU. "It is our objective to make sure that the extraordinary relationship between the two countries continues to prosper," he said.
The ambassador also reminded those present that Britain's prosperity was built on the principles of free trade and that that would continue after the UK's exit from the EU. "We're leaving the EU, we're not leaving Europe," he said. "Geographically we'll stay in the same place, our values will remain the same."
In relation to the movement of people, Manley insisted that the UK wanted to control its borders, not to impede free movement: "We want people to keep coming to study and to work in the UK and there isn't a country more open to business than ours."