Spain’s King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia are in the UK at present meeting their British counterparts and speaking to the government led by Conservative prime minister Theresa May with the aim of strengthening relations between the two countries – particularly in light of the Brexit vote.
And the Spanish monarch has not wasted time in making his feelings about Britain leaving the EU public.
“We cannot deny that the scenario generated by the UK’s decision to abandon the European Union has created uncertainty and doubts among our larger companies and, especially, our small and medium enterprises,” stated Felipe VI during an anglo-hispanic business conference today (Thursday) at Mansion House, London.
“We need reassurance that the current negotiations under way will reduce said uncertainty to the minimum – it is of paramount importance for us that our future framework of trade relations establishes the conditions needed for closer financial and trade links, whilst attempting to reduce future obstacles and barriers as much as possible.
“Our mutual commitment to opening commerce and investment across borders is something we must reaffirm.”
Spanish investment in the United Kingdom exceeded €82 billion in 2015 alone, whilst Spanish exports to the UK reached €28bn that year.
Britain’s own exports to Spain totalled €16.7bn.
And Britain was the second-largest investor in Spain in 2015, the most recent year for which full figures are available.
Of all foreign investment in Spain, Britain’s accounted for 12%.
“This UK investment created around 110,000 new jobs directly in Spain, which is home to around 1,000 British-run firms,” Felipe VI assured.