|Head of State
|King Felipe VI (since 2014)
Mariano Rajoy Brey (Popular Party, since 2011, re-elected in October 2016)
|Size||505,990 km2 (195,363 sq mi)|
|MEPs||54 (Joined the EU in 1986)|
|Next legislative election||2020|
|Presidency of the Council||July – December 2023|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||13 October 2016|
|Brexit priorities||A key issue between the two countries is immigration, as there are many British expatriates living in Spain. Spain will seek to defend the interests of British citizens and companies in Spain, and will want to protect the tourist industry which sees many British people visit Spain every year.
Furthermore, the Spanish Government has a particular interest in what happens to Gibraltar after Brexit. The Spanish Government has called for joint sovereignty of the island, which is currently British territory and voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
|What Mr Rajoy said on Brexit||17 January 2017
“Brexit is a serious threat.”
“Without wanting to go into other considerations, I will only tell you that one in five tourists who come to Spain are British, and close to 17 million Britons visited Spain last year.”
A Spanish official on 17 January
“From our point of view, it is clear that if Britain leaves the EU, it leaves in its entirety. If Britain leaves, Scotland and Gibraltar leave as well.”
10 April 2017
“First we must negotiate (Britain’s) withdrawal, and then we will talk of future ties.”
|Spain’s priorities||Spain was politically dead-locked for nearly a year until PSOE (socialists) accepted the PP’s minority government to avoid a third election. The priorities are now getting the country back on track and tackling the budget deficit, which currently exceeds the EU’s maximum. Other priorities are to reduce unemployment rates, fight corruption and reject Catalonia’s bid at independence.|
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