Xiana Mendez Secretaria de Estado de Comercio SID

Xiana Méndez speaking during Spain Investors Day in Madrid (image: Estudio de Comunicación)

Agriculture, pharmaceuticals, services and fisheries will be Spain's priority in negotiations for an EU trade agreement with the UK after Brexit.

The statement was made by the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez, on Wednesday at a press conference following news that the EU had approved its mandate for post-Brexit trade talks with the UK.

Within the agricultural sector, Méndez said that vegetables, fruit and wine were red lines for Spain, given their importance to the UK retail trade.

She noted that the mandate agreed by the General Affairs Council “really responds” to the interests of Spain.

Méndez said she was confident that the two sides would reach an agreement before the transition period ends on 31 December, after which World Trade Organization rules will be enforced.

“Spanish companies are well informed and well prepared,” Méndez told the Spanish press, noting that contingency planning by the private sector and public sector was well advanced.

The government has set up a ‘Brexit Check’ consultancy service for companies will commercial interests in the UK.

Méndez also reiterated the EU’s demand for a level playing field requiring the UK to maintain a level playing field on minimum standards on the environment, labour rights, taxation and competition.