Acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed on Wednesday that 875 extra civil servants have been employed to help deal with the possible effects of a no-deal Brexit should the United Kingdom leave the European Union (EU) without an agreement on Oct. 31.
At the moment, the UK has no exit agreement with the EU, with the Oct. 31 departure date looming ever closer and no apparent progress made in talks between the UK and the EU.
When asked Wednesday’s control session in the Spanish Congress about the effects a no-deal scenario would have on Spain, Sanchez explained his government had made plans.
“In most cases the employees are already in their positions,” said Sanchez, referring to the decision made by his cabinet on Feb. 8, when it was thought the date for Brexit would be March 31.
He said that the extra public servants were mostly employed in customs services, border controls and “transition to the new regime.”
This “new regime” would not only see the end of free and seamless trade between the UK and the remaining 27 EU nations, but also mean an end to the free movement of UK citizens in the EU and significant changes to the status of the 330,000 UK citizens currently registered as residents in Spain.
Spain is likely to be one of the hardest hit of all EU nations by the Brexit given that UK citizens make up the highest numbers of foreign tourists visiting the country, while the UK is a major client for Spanish agricultural produce and infrastructure companies.
“Spain is ready for any scenario, including a hard Brexit,” said Sanchez, in Congress before adding that he wanted to give a “message of calm” to people and companies likely to be affected.