EmbraceSpain XXIII: The role of the Spanish government before Brexit
In the #BrexitOpportunity breakfasts our Firm clearly opts for an active role of Spain in the preservation of relations with the United Kingdom, a few days before Brexit starts.
In the United Kingdom, the House of Lords has approved amendments to the Brexit Act to recognize the rights of EU citizens living in the country. It is a measure that would help ease the harshness between London and Brussels and bring more “certainties” to the process, as advocated by the British Chamber of Commerce.
This week Del Canto Chambers has participated in the first #BrexitOpportunity breakfast held at the offices of the newspaper El País in Madrid, with the intention of boosting bilateral economic and cultural relations between Spain and the United Kingdom in the face of the imminent #Brexit negotiations.
The event was attended by Jaime Guardiola, CEO of Banco Sabadell, Andy Mackay, Director of the British Council Spain, Christopher Dottie, President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Carles Casajuana, former Spanish Ambassador to the UK, Antonio Vázquez, President of IAG, Javier Solana, president of ESADE’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Fernando del Canto of Del Canto Chambers. The discussion was moderated by the deputy director of El País, José Manuel Calvo, and journalist Javier Ayuso.
Andy Mackay of the British Council stressed the importance of taking into account culture and education in the Brexit negotiations, and not forgetting the needs of young people. Christopher Dottie of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain said that Brexit is a great opportunity because everything is yet to be written, and that the British Chamber is holding meetings with all business sectors to listen to their interests and concerns.
Leon Fernando del Canto stressed the need for the Spanish government to exercise active leadership and insisted on the role of the media to illustrate, illuminate and make a deep analysis of what actually happens with #Brexit, being more in touch with the real discussion in the two chambers of Parliament and the work being done in Whitehall. On Sunday, the supplement Negocios of El Pais published a more extensive article on the subjects discussed.
On the other hand, the EU has made a step forward in the implementation of the BEPS measures of the OECD with the drafting of a proposal for a Directive on hybrid asymmetries in third countries (pending to go through the approval procedure by the European Parliament); Del Canto in an article in the blog Tax Precision says: “This new proposal seeks to ensure mechanisms “against evasion” to prevent business groups from taking advantage of the tax benefits of different jurisdictions existing in the market.
Meanwhile, in Spain, BBVA was the last bank to abide by the judgment of the Supreme Court that adapted the ECJ ruling on floor clauses, and will return all the money overcharged by these clauses to its customers. It is precisely on the controversy of the floor clauses that even the Ombudsman had to position himself, and in favor of the citizens: “experience shows that” few “floor clauses comply with levels of transparency not to be declared abusive”
And as for Qatar, businessmen welcome the new law on arbitration recently approved by the government. In addition, the trade surplus increased by 62.2% in the first month of the year, just as Qatar is entering into bank mergers, both internal and external (this is the case in Morocco), which will facilitate the development of Islamic finance, a branch of the financial sector that is having a considerable increase in recent years.
In the Trampoline Publishing company we have published this week the book “La venta del Rayo“, written by our partner Encarna Castillo, who comments how the work “is an invitation to disobedience to believe, as the only alternative route to know our own identity, the script built by the official history of Spain.”
In addition, our partner at Almutafilm, director Jesús Armesto, is currently in Naples participating in the Fausto Rossano Film Prize, analyzing his new documentary “The Burghers of Calais, the last frontier“. For Armesto, the film “analyzes the situation of the refugees” through “a historical overview of the population movements that have characterized the European continent throughout its history.”
Also, Leon Fernando del Canto published a review in the Huffington Post about the book “The Asymmetric Soldier” by Antonio Manuel, professor of the University of Cordoba: that “fictionalizes the memories of a century that went by without solving many of its contradictions, and, in particular, of a coup d’etat in the Spain of 1936, of which it seems that this country has not yet recovered “.
To conclude, just a few days from the activation of Brexit, Spain has to take the initiative within the European Union to help maintain economic ties, but also cultural and educational, with the United Kingdom. Determined enough not to make the prophetic vision of Brexit as an impenetrable wall a reality.
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Xavier Nova (@xavinova)