The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, travelled to Brussels this week to meet with Michel Barnier, the European Union negotiator for Brexit to raise concerns within these islands about the impact of the departure of the UK from the European Union.
Fernando Clavijo met with Michel Barnier as President of the Outermost Regions or RUP of the EU and for Comite de las Regiones or CdR, and is in charge of defending these regions interests at European institutions on issues such as Brexit and for the negotiation of future European budgets.
The Canarian President said “We have been able to talk about our unique situation, the impact on changes to air flights, transport of exports and other goods, and of special importance for the Canary Islands – vegetables. However, there could be a significant impact from Brexit for the transport of goods from these islands to the UK. When you export products to the UK, you enjoy transport aid from the EU that you do not have with other countries, which obviously would have a direct impact on prices.”
In terms of tourism, about five million visitors out of the total of 15 million who visit the Canary Islands are British, a figure that could be affected by the depreciation of the pound against the euro, and the consequent increase in the cost of products and services for tourists.
Fernando Clavijo also said “There will be no difficulties in air traffic as there are no difficulties with flights from other countries, but domestic air traffic could be affected and that is something we have transmitted to the EU.”
The President referred to the financial hole left by Brexit in the European Union economy, and how this will affect different European policies and outermost regions, such as the Canary Islands. He also explained at this meeting “We are trying to meet with the presidents of our member states of Spain, France and Portugal, so that the EU does not forget the nine outermost regions of the EU that are small, but also the southern border of Europe, and are great supporters of the EU.”
The issues concerning the Canary Islands also include other outermost regions of the EU, such as Portuguese autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira, French overseas dependencies in the Caribbean, such as Guayana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion and San Martin that currently work closely with other British overseas countries and territories and are concerned about how Brexit will affect these relationships.
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Canary Islands Presidents Talks Brexit with EU’s Michel Barnier