LONDON – The Prime Minister of Spain acknowledged on Tuesday that his United Kingdom counterpart was working hard in the Brexit negotiations and predicted that there would soon be a deal that would allow both sides to advance to the next phase of talks.
Mariano Rajoy was received by Theresa May in London, where they met to reaffirm the close ties between their countries.
“The British government and the Prime Minister are making a great effort and I am absolutely convinced that we will soon be able to enter a second stage in negotiations,” he said, insisting that the UK’s departure from the European Union involved complex talks that were difficult for everyone.
May referred to the fight against terror to explain why the two countries shared such a close relationship, as both had been hit by brutal attacks in the last year, and to highlight that they shared a total determination to end attacks and defend international security.
The Spanish PM responded that terrorism was a priority for both countries.
“But we are going to win this battle, and for that it is fundamental that our information services work more and more closely together,” he said.
His counterpart said they were also united by their strong ties and their fruitful bilateral economic relationship that amounts to 43 billion pounds ($57.7 billion) each year.
She was quick to add that these economic ties preceded both of their memberships to the EU and that she was convinced their relationship would remain strong after Brexit.
Rajoy said he was certain that their magnificent bilateral relationship would continue in the future, as the UK is the country where Spain has the most investments at the moment and is its fourth commercial partner, while British investments are the second-largest on Spanish territory.
He highlighted that the most important ties were between people, including the more than 500,000 British citizens living in Spain, the 250,000 Spaniards in the UK and the 18 million British tourists that visit his country annually.
Citizen’s rights were why, according to Rajoy, both the Spanish and British governments had been very active in the Brexit negotiations.