The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) has called on the EU and the UK government to ensure that the interests of regions are taken into account during the Brexit negotiations.

As the UK government prepares to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the CPMR is urging the EU institutions and the UK and to show understanding and awareness of the ‘territorial impact’ of Brexit during the negotiations.

Initial analysis from areas such as Brittany, Cornwall, Flanders, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as the CPMR’s Atlantic Arc Commission, shows that Brexit will have a disproportionate impact on many regions, hitting some regions and sectors harder than others, particularly if the UK pursues a hard Brexit or if the negotiations break down.

Regional trade of goods and services with the UK will be affected. This will widely include the maritime economy and tourism sectors, and depending on the regions concerned it will have an impact on housing markets, health and social care, research and education.

The CPMR has stated that it is committed to ensuring that close links are maintained with the UK’s regions and nations post-Brexit, for the benefit of all citizens. It is stressing the need for continued co-operation, partnerships and exchanges on future EU programmes.

CPMR President, Vasco Cordeiro, said: “We deeply regret the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but we remain committed to having close cooperation with the UK’s nations and regions in the future. We will be strongly emphasising the value of this cooperation and unity to the EU institutions and the UK government during the negotiations.”

Regarding the EU budget and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2014-2020, the CPMR is calling for fairness in the negotiations and is urging the UK to deliver on agreed commitments. The UK must not walk away from their financial responsibilities which they agreed to when the current MFF was signed off, because it will be small businesses, young people, those in education and training and ordinary people that will be affected.

The CPMR is committed to maintaining a strong EU-wide Cohesion Policy that involves all regions. Cohesion Policy is more essential than ever as the EU’s investment policy, as a balancing mechanism to address the market failures associated with the Single Market.