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Spanish government will be reasonable on Brexit, says economy minister

Spain's Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Spain's Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos

Spain will act reasonably in the U.K.'s Brexit negotiations with the European Unioin, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.

"The position of the Spanish government is very clear. For us the U.K. is a very important country. It is perhaps our closest economic ally if you look at trade, tourism and investments of the Spanish government," he clarified.

"The approach of the Spanish government is going to be reasonable. We want to have a reasonable discussion and I hope that common sense and savvy will prevail," he continued.

De Guindos's constructive attitude contrasts with some of the more belligerent rhetoric emanating from other elements of European leadership, such as European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker who has warned that the trading bloc will make it difficult for the U.K. once it leaves the EU.

Spain's economy minister emphasized the countries' close links, pointing out that half a million Britons live on the south coast of Spain and around 18 million vacationers from the U.K. enjoy holidays in the country.

While de Guindos is adamant that his government's stance will seek a productive outcome for all parties, he confirmed that Spain's leadership would be keen to sweep up companies and workers pushed outside of the U.K. by Brexit.

"That's normal, no? Because we think Madrid offers a lot of opportunities in that area," he admitted.

"We'll respect Brexit, it's a decision that has been taken by the U.K., by British society. Now we will have to find a friendly, an orderly divorce," he concluded.


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