Fears that a UK exit will have a harmful impact on Majorca's exports, such as potatoes. | M. Nadal

Exporters in the Balearics fear that they will be harmed if the UK opts to leave the European Union.

The president of Majorca's Chamber of Commerce, José Luis Roses, says that there is a great deal of concern among exporters. The departure from the EU would result in the immediate fall in value of the pound against the euro and that would mean a drop in the spending power of tourists coming to the island. (Tourism, it should be noted, is treated as an export for balance of payments reasons.)

To this, Roses continues, have to be added food, drink, oils and footwear sectors for which there would be increased administrative costs and the need to re-establish former customs' systems.

"It will be very negative for the Balearic and European economy and will affect more than 200 businesses on the islands."

Exporting companies and the Chamber agree that the drop in value of the pound will be in the region of 12%, though there are some forecasts which suggest 20%. "This will distort the entire export business strategy to the UK as well as affecting the tourist industry. The Balearics will become more expensive for what is the second largest tourist market behind Germany."

Joan Company, the president of the Asaja agricultural businesses association and also the CEO of the Esplet Sa Pobla cooperative, believes that the export of potatoes is already being affected by talk of Brexit. He hopes that, as happened with the Scottish referendum, the tide will turn and that there will not be a vote to leave. "Here, we have everything to lose."

Roses also notes that the property sector will be impacted because of the fall in the value of sterling. "We will lose everything."

Last year, the value of exports to the UK (excluding tourism) was 46.3 million euros, and in the first quarter of 2016 it was 8.6 million.