Spain: What has Britain to moan about?

Jose Ignacio-Torreblanca on why Spain thinks the UK already has a good deal

The World Today Published 23 March 2016 Updated 30 November 2020 2 minute READ

Jose Ignacio-Torreblanca

Head of the Madrid office and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council of Foreign Relations

Seen from Spain, it is hard to understand what Brexit is about and what it is that the Cameron government is seeking to achieve. After all, we have always been told, the UK already has a very special deal with the EU, even an enviable one.

First, the City is the financial centre for the euro but without Britain having to join the eurozone or contributing to the bailout programmes.

Second, British citizens can freely circulate across the continent without showing their passport whereas Spaniards and other European citizens have to go through border controls when entering the UK.

Third, Britain a long time ago ensured that its contributions to the EU budget were capped with any excess returned through an annual rebate.

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