Tensions rise between Britain, France and Spain over border closures


France is in last minute talks with Spain on closing the borders. image: Twitter

French President Immanuel Macron is expected to make a serious announcement on Friday, which could have far-reaching effects on British, French and Spanish business circles.

URGENT Zoom talks are reportedly underway between the three affected countries, with trade bodies expressing concerns that a border closure will cost hundreds of millions of euros and that some companies will not survive it.

A spike in cases in the Spanish region of Catalonia has forced the French government to consider closing the borders. The borders between France and Spain reopened on June 21 after three months of confinement on the Spanish side to fight the virus. But now French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said the government will not rule out closing borders after the new outbreak.

Mr Castex said: “We are following this very closely, here in particular, because it is a real issue that we must also discuss with the Spanish authorities. ”

The people of Catalonia must “stay at home if it is not essential for them to go out,” said Mertixell Budo, spokesperson for the Catalan regional government. Although this is only a recommendation, Ms Budo hopes it will stop the spread of the virus and lead to stricter measures. She said: “We have to step back a bit to avoid total containment of the population in the coming weeks.”

The regional government has imposed the closure of cinemas, theaters, nightclubs as well as the ban on meetings of more than 10 people with visits to retirement homes also banned. Carles Gispert, a 40-year-old DJ in Barcelona, ​​said: “If people had done everything the authorities recommended, we wouldn’t be here.

“What I see is that we are back to the situation in March, everything is out of control.

Business leaders from all three countries have already made their views known, saying that a return to closed borders would be the “last straw” for transport companies – not to mention the factories and outlets to which they operate. they were delivering goods.

Spain alone exports over € 20 billion worth of goods to the UK each year, and the UK delivers cars, medicines, machinery – the list goes on. France itself had a flourishing import-export trade with the two countries before the crisis as well.

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