Britain's hard-fought presence in South America: the Falkland Islands
Photo: MARCOS BRINDICCI/ REUTERS
Brexit has severely affected the economy of the Falkland Islands.
The main reason is the tariffs that are now due for imports from the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic, as the government in Stanley told the dpa news agency: “As things stand at the moment, there are no advantages for the Falkland Islands with Brexit.
However, there are a number of challenges«.
The EU was the largest market for fish and meat products as well as wool and other agricultural products from the islands until Britain left the Union.
Fishing exports alone account for more than 50 percent of gross domestic product.
"While we continue to export fishery products to the EU, mainly squid, these exports are now less profitable," it said.
The EU now levies 6 to 18 percent tariffs on fishery products.
Anniversary of the Falklands War
It looks even more difficult for meat exports - according to information from Stanley, the EU tariff here is an average of 42 percent.
“The very high tariffs on our meat exports have resulted in the loss of the market as it is simply no longer profitable to export to the EU given the volumes we export.”
Great Britain left the EU customs union and the single market on January 1, 2021.
A comprehensive agreement will continue to ensure largely duty-free trade.
However, the Falkland Islands are excluded from the trade and cooperation agreement.
Anger over economic fallout could overshadow commemoration of 40th anniversary of Falklands War.
The islands around 400 miles off the South American coast were occupied by Argentina on April 2, 1982 and recaptured by British troops after a short, bloody war.
Argentina still claims the islands called Malvinas there.
The population of the area is around 3000. There are also more than a thousand British soldiers.
The Falkland government continues to negotiate easing or even an end to EU tariffs.
"We have already made some limited progress in temporarily lifting tariffs on a small percentage of our exports," the government said.
This work is not easy.
»But we are confident that we will eventually be successful.«