EmbraceSpain XXXVII: Eid Mubarak, Brexit 1st Anniversary and Gulf Crisis

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As Ramadan has come to an end with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr this Sunday, we have come back from our visit to Qatar, where we continued negotiations with Dar al Shar Group, owner of “The Peninsula”, one of the most important digital and printed newspaper in the Gulf Estate.

On Saturday was the 1st anniversary of the Brexit, the day the UK voted they would like to leave the European Union, the starting point of 12 months of intense activity, of uncertainties, of speculations of all sorts, of new elections… Brexit has been the trending topic of the year, everyone has written and spoken about it. Many events around Brexit have taken place. Our firm together with “El Pais” have organized a couple of editorial breakfast, one in Madrid and another one in the Law Society in London.

This week also the negotiations on Brexit have started in Brussels, 3 months after article 50 was activated. Theresa May has announced that about three million EU citizens living in the UK would be allowed to stay after Brexit. A new “UK settled status” would grant EU migrants who had lived in the UK for five years rights to stay and access health, education and other benefits. Proposals were unveiled at a Brussels summit but are dependent on EU states guaranteeing Britons the same rights.

In view of the imminent departure of the UK from the EU and in the context of the recently signed and updated Double Tax Treaty in force since the 12th of June 2014 between the United Kingdom and Spain, we at Del Canto Chambers is offering the seminar “Summer In-House International Tax Seminar: Anglo Spanish tax and legal update 2017” . This 90 minutes seminar is being offered to UK Family Offices, Tax, Accountants and legal Firms with interests in Spain. The seminar can be held in house or by webinar and is being very well received by the industry. Please contact us at clerk@delcantochambers.com to organise a complimentary seminar for your team.

Coming back to the Gulf Crisis, as already mentioned last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and most Gulf states have joined an unprecedented diplomatic and economic attack to Qatar . Last Thursday they came up with 13 demands, that represents an intrusion into the internal affairs of Qatar that would threaten its very sovereignty. The main ones are to close Al Jazeera and all of its affiliates, shut down Turkey’s new military base in Qatar, reduce diplomatic ties with Iran and submit to regular compliance audits for the next 10 years. We are very concerned with any attacks to Qatar sovereignty and press freedom and will continue our support on that respect.

Our offices and business in Qatar remains strong and it seems that those who had the idea of placing an embargo on Qatar have not yet come up with a positive solution to this scenario,  and it looks like the attempts to muzzle Al-Jazeera are likely to fail.

Back in Spain we continue supporting Brits to claim banks for interests paid in mortgages subscribed when they acquired their property in Spain. On this line our lawyer Laia Fernandez has published the 11 most Common Asked Questions in Mortgage Floor Clauses Claims.

As we are facing an interesting week ahead, we will continue to comment on the Brexit negotiations and we hope to see an end to the Qatar blockage. Meanwhile you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

Xavier Nova
Director of Del Canto Chambers