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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Brexit: the risks for the Breton economy

Brittany is France's Cornwall - one part is named Cournouaille and its western end is also named Finisterre (Lands End). As a region it is very much a mirror image of Cornwall - a holiday destination full of Celtic history and the arts with agriculture and fishing still the mainstays of rural and coastal life.

Here is an article from France Bleu:

Brittany's economic players are preparing for Brexit with concern. According to official figures, Brittany exports the equivalent of 830 million euros of merchandise per year. But in reality, it's a lot more. Bretagne Commerce International will schedule two meetings per department.

According to customs figures, Brittany exports the equivalent of 830 million euros worth of goods per year . In reality, it is much more because this figure only takes into account the products that have left the national territory by the Breton ports and airports. Breton companies also export via Calais and especially Le Havre. This is the case, for example, with Le Gall butter made in Quimper and accounted for by customs in the Normandy exports because of a departure by the port of Le Havre.

So there are no real figures but we know that Brittany exports agribusiness in fresh and frozen, automotive spare parts, electronics.

Eight million cauliflowers exported to Great Britain
Marc Kerangueven, producer in Lannilis (29) and president of Cerafel (2,000 producers) is worried. Of the 100 million cauliflowers produced by Prince de Bretagne, eight million go to Britain. This corresponds to 20% of the volume exported: "I have two fears: a new drop in the pound, which makes our products too expensive and leads the British to produce locally, and paperwork that makes it necessary to pay employees or service providers for 'This administrative hassle will be worth it for a cauliflower truck but not necessarily for other products of diversification that are currently exported in half-pallet.

No decline in exports for the moment
Breton companies have already had to adapt to the depreciation of the pound sterling : - 14% since the announcement of Brexit. They have either increased their price or reduced the quantities. We also know that the British are currently stocking, including car parts. As a result, the volume of Breton exports to Great Britain has not declined for the moment.

Soon new meetings to accompany companies
Bretagne Commerce International should quickly schedule two new departmental meetings for business leaders. "The bosses are starting to realize that Britain may soon be as inaccessible as Azerbaijan with terrible paperwork," says Vincent Chamaret, Director of BCI. Future meetings are likely to be a hit.

Concern for the Breton fishery
Another fear in Brittany of economic consequence of Brexit: fishing. According to Olivier Le Nezet, the president of the Regional Fisheries Committee, " 140 to 150 Breton ships fish in British waters and take out 50% of their turnover." This represents a workforce of about 800 seafarers and several thousand onshore processing jobs.

For Olivier Le Nézet, " these boats make the financial equilibrium of all the Breton auctions, and then they are likely to refer to the French areas.That is the whole sector that risks being impacted. " Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced measures that will be detailed in the coming weeks. Olivier Le Nézet insists: "We especially need to be able to continue fishing in British waters."

Translated by Google.
Monday 21 January 2019 at 6:16
Full story courtesy of Valérie Le Nigen , France Armorica Blue and France Bleu Breizh Izel