As part of the #EmbraceSpain campaign, we continue to support Spanish-British relations and we attended a conference organized by the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain
This week at Del Canto Chambers, as a continuation of the #EmbraceSpain campaign, our Managing Partner, Leon Fernando Del Canto, published several pieces in the Bloomberg BNA diary, defending more tax transparency policies in the United Kingdom in relation to territories of Ultramar and the dependencies of the Crown (as there is in Gibraltar or the British Virgin islands.)
In regard to the United Kingdom and its post-Brexit policies, we assisted in a conference called “The exit of the United Kingdom in the European Union: Impact on Spanish and British executives and companies”, organized by the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain and the Spanish Association of Directors (AED).
This event counted on the attendance of politicians, businessmen and bankers from both sides of the Channel, which analysed the impact of Brexit in Spanish-British trade relations and how to help overcome its possible negative effects. The event was opened by Christopher Dottie, president of the British Chamber of Commerce of Britain in Spain, welcoming constructive dialogue and analysing the impact of Brexit both in the United Kingdom and in the European Union, specifically in Spain. (#brexitimpact)
The vision of the Spanish government was given by Alejandro Abellan, general director of Policy Coordination and General Affairs of the European Union, who gave a detailed account of trade flows, residents and immigration between Spain and the United Kingdom.
In this respect, the UK ambassador in Spain, Simon Manley, offered an optimistic and realistic message, rooting for a Brexit in which listening, open dialogue and collaboration will be essential: “How can the United Kingdom and the European Union not want to agree, when cross-trading borders 4,000 million pounds?” The UK is the same country as it has always been, and we are able to deal with these changes in a productive manner. We will continue to listen to investors and exporters to ensure that their exports and investments continue to grow.”
On the round table, we found, Mark Hall, CEO of HSBC, Luis Pardo, Sage Iberia, Sofia Rodriguez, Bando Sabadell, Camilla Hillier-Fry, member of People Matters, Giles Tremlett from The Guardian, Carles Casajuana, ex-Spanish ambassador in the United Kingdom, and Tony Noel, CEO of Ketchum Spain, who focused more on the problems of Hispano-British companies, executives, and immigration between Spain and the United Kingdom.
They stated, among other things, that the business relationship between Spain and the United Kingdom reaches 55,000 million euros, and advocated asking governments for dual citizenship for both Spanish residents in the UK for British residents in Spain. All rooted for #inteligentbrexit for demystifying the debate of hard or soft Brexit of which many are advocates. The reality is that at this time there is much uncertainty and this has led to a decrease in decision-making in businesses and a restriction in credit.
One of the UK’s strengths is its major financial industry and especially the booming sector of Family Offices. These companies manage the wealth of families or groups of families with high purchasing power. London is the center of this market in Europe. Only in the British capital can you find between 1,000 and 1,800 Family Offices; a sector that has grown 40% globally. This market is presented as one of the options that would allow the UK to maintain its position of financial power and economic influence despite Brexit.
Let us not forget about Qatar. In its capital, Doha, we met with Abdul Latif Al Mahmoud’s team, who is CEO of Qatari media groups Dar Al-Sharq. We also met with Juan Canton, managing director of the sports daily AS and Alejandro Elortegui, editorial director, with whom we have made progress in cooperation with the two medias.
Moreover, the European Parliament has discussed a proposal from the European Commission to create the Common Consolidated Base for corporation tax (CCCTB) throughout the European Union, which will simplify the European fiscal model and combat fraud, in line with BEPS project, belonging to the OECD.
Back in Spain, we want to celebrate the Seville European Film Festival XIII of 2016, which has included on its billboard the film documentary “The Keys of Memory”by our partner Jesus Armesto, shot with his production company Almutafilm.
We end with a reflection on the UK and Spain’s effort to maintain its historical, cultural, commercial and social relations. These should not be limited only to a period of uncertainty as posed by Brexit, but rather perpetuated in time, because the UK may have decided to leave the European Union but not Europe. Our ties have not been cut, but just the ties through our intermediary, Brussels. Therefore, from Del Canto Chambers we advocate combining forces through our campaign, #EmbraceSpain
So with regards to all the initiatives that are being made, and any that are made in the future, we will want to join them and report on them in the digital pages of this blog.
Xavier Nova (@xavinova)
Director of Del Canto Chambers