#EmbraceSpain XXXV: A hot week: London Attacks, Qatar Blockage, UK Hung Parliament, Catalonian Referendum

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From Del Canto Chambers we condemn the recent attacks in London Bridge and express solidarity with the families of the victims and wounded people. We totally stand against the terrorist attacks that have clouded Ramadan, a sacred month for Muslim all over the world.

Today, just one week left for the start of the #Brexit negotiations with the EU, the UK has a Hung Parliament, since no party can win a majority in the UK Elections. Our lawyer in London, Julio Prieto, states in his article that forming a government will be very challenging for the next Prime Minister, and therefore, it seems that the #Brexit negotiations will be delayed once again.

Last week in Middle East, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates blocked access to news websites, including Al-Jazeera and Mada Masr. The Al-Jazeera chain, which the Qatari royal family partly owned, has often been seen as an enemy of the Egyptian state since the fall of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

But last Monday, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing them of destabilizing the region. Accused of supporting military groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the State of Qatar denies it and describes this decision as unjustified and without basis of fact. It seems to be a movement of the countries allied to the USA, due to the tensions in the zone with Iran. In addition, the measure coincides with the recent visit of Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia. Please read Wadah Khanfar´s article which provides a more accurate approach on what it is really going on: “The blockade of Qatar is a move against the values of the Arab spring”

A couple of weeks ago, the Spanish Parliament invited the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain to present the results of their survey on the consequences of Brexit to the European Union Joint Commission of the Congress and the Senate. The highlight of the debate was on rights of EU citizens in the UK after the Brexit, and those of British citizens in EU countries.

Gibraltar has become a complex issue in the #Brexit negotiations for both Spain and the UK, who have shown their disagreement over Gibraltar’s future fiscal status. Although the Treaties will no longer apply in this territory, the future relations of the Rock with Spain and the EU are subject to negotiation. Gibraltar has developed its own tax, customs and companies regime, which Spain qualifies as unfair competition, and even as a tax haven.

As for our Del Canto Chambers firm, we continue to encourage business relations and operations with the Arab countries. In this regard, Leon Fernando del Canto has been appointed Permanent Umpire of the Spanish-Moroccan Court of Arbitration (CHMA). The CHMA has a well-defined Hispanic vocation and intends to approach most of the  20 countries whose official language is Arabic.

Likewise, claims to banks have become a tough road to follow. Under the hashtag #JusticiaHipotecada, the Spanish are mobilizing, raising the voice before a new abuse of power conjugated between the banks and the Government, that recently have agreed that mortgage procedures related to the abusive clauses to be solved only in 54 provincial courts.  Our lawyer Laia Fernández Bernalte comments: “This agreement violates the interests of people willing to sue the banks; courts will collapse immediately and will perpetuate the claims, forcing consumers to negotiate with banks and accepting fast settlements instead of recovering all the money they are entitled.”
In view of all this, in Del Canto Chambers we ask ourselves where is in Spain the separation of powers that it is essential in a society that proclaims itself to be democratic.

To add more fuel to the week, just this morning the Catalonian Parliament has set the date for its Independence referendum which is to be held on 1st of October, challenging, once more, the so called democratic values of the Spanish government.

The future relations of the EU with the United Kingdom will be determined by the good will of negotiation of both parties, to which we have to add the challenge of UK forming a new parliament.  

Xavier Nova (@ xavinova)
Director at Del Canto Chambers