Falklands rallies against Brexit
The government of Britain’s controversial Falkland Islands has said the UK leaving the European single market would lead to a “catastrophic” economic hit for the isolated community as it faces new tariffs and quotas as a result of Brexit.
The Falklands’ fishing industry and administration have lobbied London over the dangers of losing access to EU markets, where the vast majority of its exports go.
The fishing industry exported 94 per cent of its fish to the single market last year. Fishing accounts for 41 per cent of the islands’ income and two-thirds of its corporation tax. Any negative impact from Brexit might sit uneasily with leavers.
Speaking after a visit to Brussels and London, the chair of the islands’ eight-member legislative assembly told the media that potential disruption caused by leaving the single market “would put at risk the current profitability of our fishing industry and would impact both the wider economy and government revenue”.
The South Atlantic islands’ government said “any material change that results in less beneficial import/export access could be potentially catastrophic for the Falkland Islands’ economy and people”, the UK Overseas Territories Association reported.
The Falklands mostly export loligo squid to Spain, accounting for 89 per cent of its exports to the EU. The islands provided over a third of the loligo squid imported by Spain in 2017. When it docks at Vigo, it enters the EU’s supply chain and sent around the world.
Fishing industry lobbyists estimated that the prospect of trading on World Trade Organisation rules, as advocated by some leavers, would cause a £9 million loss of revenues because of tariffs. For the population of 3,400-population, that would amount to over £2,600 per islander.
In the UK, racism and religious intolerance have become more acceptable after the divisive 2016 Brexit referendum, a United Nations envoy has warned.
At the end of an 11-day visit investigating the impact of Brexit on racial equality, the UN special rapporteur on racism said there had been a “notable shift” in attitudes.
“A Brexit-related trend that threatens racial equality in the UK has been the growth in the acceptability of explicit racial, ethnic and religious intolerance,” said E Tendayi Achiume.
“Stakeholders raised serious concerns about the failure of political leaders on the left and the right to consistently and unequivocally condemn antisemitism and Islamophobia perpetrated in the media, in public spaces and even by members of the UK parliament.”
Anti-Brexit protesters in London last year. Picture credit: Eurasia Times