A moment during last Friday's conference. / MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ

Unnecessary

Despite the apparent downside to Brexit, going through it makes it worth it to keep hold of the Spain-UK bond

RACHEL HAYNES

Terms like "partners", "favourites" and "optimistic" were repeated during all of the interventions and the roundtable discussions at last Friday's conference on UK-Spain relations organised by SUR and SUR in English.

After several years organising and attending events explaining the implications of the UK's exit from the EU, it was time to examine the real-life consequences now that the dust has had a little time to settle.

What was clear from the event attended by representatives of the British Embassy in Spain and the Spanish Embassy in the UK, as well as leading experts in trade, tourism, technology and education, was that the two countries are tied together by something far stronger than a blue flag with yellow stars on it.

The British and Spanish live in and visit each other's countries in their hundreds of thousands, we do business together, celebrate together, learn each other's language and value each other's people and products.

That hasn't changed, but it does not mean that leaving the EU was good or inconsequential.

Last Friday's dialogues revealed the many problems, complications, inconveniences, barriers and a quagmire of extra red tape caused by the unnecessary Brexit.

They also showed that the bonds between these two countries make it worth struggling through that quagmire to keep the partnership intact.