The Pymes Platform ultimately represents over two million small to medium-sized businesses and self-employed in Spain. Yesterday, it warned of the serious impact on the real-estate and holiday rentals sectors from an abrupt, no-deal Brexit.
Whether there is a deal or not, Brexit will mean restrictions - minor or more significant - on the movement of people, goods, capital and services. The further fall in the value of the pound and obstacles to freedom of movement could lead to a weakening of the foreign resident-owned property market, especially on the islands and in coastal parts of the mainland.
UK buyers are responsible for around a fifth of the 40,000 annual property sales to foreigners. This equates, on average, to 1.3 billion euros, even before taking into account the taxes. This figure doesn't appear anywhere in Spain's export statistics but it is of clear significance for the national economy and has a positive impact on the balance of payments.
Holiday rental occupancy by UK tourists, according to the platform, is higher than that of tourists from any other EU member state. A fall in revenues from tourism has already had an impact. This was evident in the second half of last year and is reflected in financing for the 2019 state budget.
Competitive restrictions on holiday rentals, as adopted or envisaged by state, regional or municipal authorities, allied to a no-deal Brexit, will mean losses for the Spanish economy in general.
The president, José Luis Roca, said yesterday that an appropriate Brexit agreement or bilateral agreements between Spain and the UK could offset the worse scenarios. In any event, however, there will be damage because of a weaker pound and a decrease in the numbers of Britons in Spain.