Obviously being in hospitality I imagine you have many British clients, do you think Brexit will have an impact on your business?
Even before leaving the EU, it is already affecting us. There are still many British tourists here this summer but they are mostly staying in all-inclusive resorts and do not come out to eat.
Surely that’s the same with any all-inclusive tourists in any year, not just due to Brexit?
With the reduced exchange rate, holidaymakers are not prepared to miss out on their meals at the all-inclusive resorts and even those who stay in independent accommodation are now tending to cook at home. They might wander along the Paseo of an evening and buy the kids an ice-cream or have a glass of wine but they are not spending on fine dining.
How do you see Brexit will affect the hospitality industry here after 2019?
Tourism is the main economy in Spain. There are other popular holiday resorts where, perhaps their money will go a bit further. There has been too much speculation and doubt – nobody knows and nobody has the answer. We can only live in hope!
How do you feel Brexit has been dealt with to date?
The damage has now been done and it will be difficult to undo people’s perceptions. I did vote to remain because as a British immigrant working in Spain, leaving the EU is not in my interests. However, it is like stepping into the unknown. The consequences are so diverse for many immigrants here and the UK hasn’t seemed to show a lot of concern for us so we are pinning our hopes on the Spanish. If deals can’t be reached within the EU negotiations we must hope for bilateral agreements between the UK and Spain.
You have obviously been following the Brexit negotiations?
Yes, although I am not a particularly politically minded person but this affects us and our lives here. The British press has not been unbiased either and many stories have not been published. We have German friends in Scotland who after 15 years in business in the UK have been so badly treated since Brexit they feel they are being forced to leave, they are not welcome anymore. Their son was born there, their business has been successful but they have had their shop and car windows smashed and all sorts of other unacceptable racist treatment. In our so-called civilised society they are now being ostracised by a nasty minority of British who seemingly think Brexit has given them the right to openly discriminate against other nations.
So clearly, apart from not believing Brexit to be a good thing for you personally because you are in business here in Spain it is obviously having awful repercussions on EU residents in the UK?
Yes, it is and that is really something that makes me embarrassed to be British!