Farmers, Brexit & Morocco

AND horticultureWhilst UK and EU leaders ‘celebrate’ the Brexit agreement, whose repercussions loom, others are left to pick up the pieces.

In the case of our region, especially the Costa Tropical, farmers know that although the Brexit last-minute face-saving agreement for both sides will mean that their perishable exports to the UK will not have tariffs imposed, the paperwork might well be an insurmountable obstacle to getting their fresh goods to UK supermarket shelves.

Andalucía has two main incomes: agriculture and tourism. We all know what a blow has been delivered to the latter sector but what Covid-19 didn’t damage, export paperwork will surely decimate the former sector.

Which brings us to Morocco: Andalusian farmers fear an upcoming deal between the UK and Morocco, dealing directly. Morocco can provide the same agricultural/horticultural produce as Andalucía but far cheaper, which means that there is a good chance that the UK will ditch Spain for Morocco.

Of course, another issue that the short-sighted, pro-Brexit campaign threw under the bus was Gibraltar, whose border will become an external EU border in a couple of days’ time. The thousands of Spaniards that cross the border every day to feed the Gibraltarian and La Linea economy face tremendous indecision. The thousands of Gibraltareños that depend on neighbouring Spain for countless goods and services have also been left in limbo.

The irony is that the British generation – soon to disappear – that swung the vote in favour of Brexit with their misplaced nostalgia for a bygone era, has scuppered the Rock (Gibraltar). The British of my parents’ generation were so proud of the Rock at the mouth of the Med guarding the sea lanes during the darkest depth of WW2. After all, in British English we use the term, “as solid as the Rock,” not to be confused with “as solid as a rock.”

(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

  4 comments for “Farmers, Brexit & Morocco

  1. Pacofisher
    December 31, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I recently sold my property in Almunecar which I owned for nearly 50 years. I never considered myself a European and did vote for Brexit. That said, I wholeheartedly support the comments of Malcolm and Geoff Walton.

  2. December 30, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Malcom: Yes to all of your questions but the trouble is that the local economy is totally entwinned so that the loss of one sector will harm other sectors. In towns where there is intensive greenhouse farming, bars, small shops and other local businesses will take a hit along with the greenhouse owners.

  3. Malcolm
    December 30, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    How many Spanish actually toil under the plastic? Are they mainly from Africa with the bosses making the money? A consequence of a British deal with Morocco will be more work in Morocco and less plastic polluting Spain?

  4. Geoff Walton
    December 30, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I consider myself a European and didn’t vote for Brexit. However if our new arrangement stops the plástico plague spreading further and further across southern Spain it can only be a good thing. It’s an abomination of the land.

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