The UK finally left the EU at the end of the Brexit transition period last December and Spain has been one of the hardest hit EU nations. Figures s
The UK finally left the EU at the end of the Brexit transition period last December and Spain has been one of the hardest hit EU nations. Figures suggest UK food and drink exports to Spain have fallen by 54 percent this year compared to 2019, costing the industry around €2 billion.
Inge Barker who runs A Taste of Home, a chain of British food stores in Spain, has raged at the additional checks involved in buying products from the UK.
Ms Barker has three shops in Barcelona, Sitges and Cubelles and has condemned the supply issues and rising costs involved.
She told The Local Spain: “We’ve definitely been feeling it, Brexit has not been good for our business.
“With the drop in exports, extra costs, and red tape, it’s a total disaster.
“I have three shops and lots of staff, at the moment, they are my main priority.”
The EU has implemented full checks on UK goods moving to the bloc since the start of January – including health certificates for certain animal products.
Checks on goods going the other direction have been continuously delayed in order to gives firms more time to adjust and will not be in place until at least July 2022.
Spain remains a popular destination for British expats and holidaymakers, which has fuelled the continued demand for UK produce.
She added: “If you’re wanting a traditional British Christmas fare in Spain this year, you’ll have to buy your products early.”
The Spanish retail boss acknowledged there is a wider problem of being reliant on UK firms and a lack of competition from EU suppliers.
Ms Barker added: “Most of our products are English and that’s what our customers want, so we can’t always source alternatives from Ireland.
“However, the transport is cheaper direct from Ireland, but we still have to pay import duties and VAT if we source products from there, so it doesn’t make it a lot cheaper.”