Portuguese government alert after Brexit Commons vote
Government creates emergency credit line to help Portuguese companies in the UK market
The decision by Britain’s House of Commons to roundly defeat Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Brexit deal has wobbled the Portuguese government faced with one of its largest trading partners crashing out of the EU on 29 March.
The Portuguese Minister for the Economy, Siza Vieira, has revealed that one of the measures that make up Portugal’s contingency plan for a ‘hard Brexit’ and which the Government will approve at the next Council of Ministers meeting, is the creation of a €50 million credit line to help Portuguese companies trading with the UK.
The fund will be used to help companies make adaptations to their internal operations methods and diversify their exports strategies to other markets.
In addition, measures will be included to ensure flows of British tourists from one of Portugal’s biggest tourist markets.
This would also translate into simplifying and speeding up passport control formalities at airports which see a lot of UK passengers, like Faro and Funchal.
And taking into account the importance that the British market has on Portugal’s tourism industry, a project is being developed which includes “a marketing campaign in the British market aimed at minimising the impact that the various Brexit scenarios could have on Portugal,” says Ana Mendes Godinho.
“We have sent the message out that Portugal is a country that will continue to treat British tourists in future in the same way as they have always been treated and ensure the least constraints possible” she added.
The Minister of the Economy said that while Portugal would not expect a contraction in the markets overall, the country would be impacted by both Brexit and the current trade wars.