Last Wednesday, February 6th, we attended the presentation of "THE SPANISH COMPANY FACING THE BREXIT" at the Gipuzkoa Chamber of Commerce presented by the Secretary of State for Trade Xiana Margarida Méndez and the Deputy Regional Head of Customs and IIEE of the Basque Country Arantza Inchausti. The seminar was organised by the Secretary of State for Trade and ICEX Spain Export and Investment, together with the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE).
It is clear that the topic is of interest given the number of people in the room.
At Onura, we have maintained an outstanding presence in the British market in recent years, strengthening our customers' sales in the country. That is why we could not miss the appointment.
It became clear to us that there are three possible Brexit scenarios:
- If the current Withdrawal Agreement is approved by 30 March 2019, we will enter a Transitional Period until 31 December 2020. In that 21-month period there is supposed to be room for trade agreements between the UK and the EU. This is undoubtedly the most favourable scenario.
- If British Prime Minister Theresa May demonstrates that she is renegotiating a new Withdrawal Agreement with her parliament, she could ask for an extension to push back the 30 March date and thus delay entry into the Transitional Period.
- If the Agreement is NOT approved before 30 March and there is no extension, there would be an abrupt rupture between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and the former would become a third country for us. In this sense, and to illustrate it with an example, the United Kingdom would be for us more like China and not like Norway or Switzerland (with Free Trade Agreements). This would imply the implementation of customs with its formalities and customs controls, tariffs, taxes, possible prohibitions and restrictions, conditioning the origin of certain products, licences...
After the presentations, we took the opportunity to exchange views and concerns among the listeners in the room. Although uncertainty still surrounds what will happen with brexit, we will certainly be ready and available to support companies with interests in the UK.
It is clear that with both "good" and "bad" Brexit there will be Brexit, and this will bring new challenges and new opportunities for all of us, which we will always try to turn into sales.