UK Ambassador meets head of the Junta de Andalucía

Andalusian regional president, Juan Moreno (l) with Hugh Elliott.
Andalusian regional president, Juan Moreno (l) with Hugh Elliott. / EP
  • The regional president, Juanma Moreno, discussed the impact of Brexit with Hugh Elliott

The new British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, was in Seville on Wednesday to meet with the president of the Andalusian regional government, Juanma Moreno.

The two men spoke about the likely effect of Brexit on the economy in Andalucía and the need to protect the rights of UK residents in the region, as well as Andalusians who live in Britain.

According to Juanma Moreno, the effects of Britain's withdrawal from the EU could cost the regional economy "between 600 million and 1.8 billion euros a year", adding that "in any case Brexit is going to be bad" and that the regional government had to work hard to make it the "least damaging possible".

However, Moreno said that he was hopeful that relations between the UK would continue to be strong. Britain is the region's fourth most important international export market and the UK is the largest direct investor in Andalucía, as well as the biggest single market for tourists.

The UK Ambassador stated that if there is a negotiated agreement to Brexit with the EU, there will be a transition period at least until the end of 2020, during which time virtually everything would stay the same and no urgent measures would be required.

Moreno explained that his Junta de Andalucía regional government had announced a plan with 112 measures to reduce the impact on Brexit on the region, especially at La Línea and the Campo de Gibraltar, where over 15,000 people a day cross the border to work in Gibraltar.

He also said that he would travel to the World Travel Market trade fair in London next month to meet British tourism industry leaders.