The positive outlook for Spanish citrus fruits this season, with strong demand, high prices, and increased production, is being clouded by the lack of agreement in the negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom, which could result in a 16% tariff increase for the province's fruit as of January 1, 2021. So far, there have been seven rounds of contacts but there hasn't been any advance made.
The Citrus Management Committee, which represents the interests of a large part of the companies that export citrus fruits, has warned that the danger of a total rupture is closer and closer. Sources of the organization regret the total ignorance and lack of information there is regarding the progress of the talks between the British representatives and the European delegation.
The biggest obstacle to reaching an agreement between the two blocks has little to do with agriculture; it is related to the allocation of fishing quotas in British waters. Another major hurdle there is are the rules of competitiveness between Europe and the UK. There is no conflict of interest in the case of citrus.
"Citrus crops are not produced on British lands, so it is convenient for Spain to keep its client and for the British to keep a supplier," the committee stated. "Spain should take the reins and propose a particular agreement on citrus and vegetables. After all, it is a market of 60 million inhabitants," they stated.