The Prime Minister welcomed King Felipe VI of Spain to Downing Street this afternoon, as part of the Spanish State Visit to the UK. She said that the UK was delighted to be hosting the visit, and to have this historic opportunity to celebrate our longstanding partnership and our shared values and interests.
The Prime Minister welcomed the King’s warm speech in Parliament yesterday, in which he reiterated the friendship between our two countries, and she agreed that the UK and Spain enjoy an incredibly strong relationship.
They discussed the close links between our people, who live, work, study and holiday in each other’s country. The Prime Minister welcomed the valuable contribution that the many Spaniards who have made Britain their home make daily to our economy and society. And she paid tribute to the heroism of Spanish banker Ignacio Echeverría who was killed in last month’s appalling act of terror at London Bridge as he rushed to help someone who was being attacked.
Their talks also touched on a range of areas on which the UK and Spain work closely together to ensure the security and prosperity of our people, including trade and investment, defence, science and innovation, and on the world stage.
The Prime Minister highlighted the scale of Spanish investment in the UK as a sign of the depth of our commercial ties. They agreed on the importance of standing up for free trade, and also highlighted the significance of our close cooperation on security and counterterrorism.
On Brexit, the Prime Minister said that we will seek a new, deep and special partnership with the whole EU as we leave, and that we are committed to ensuring we strengthen the bilateral ties between our two countries. She said we have made it a priority in the negotiations to guarantee the status of Spanish and other EU citizens living in the UK as part of a reciprocal deal that also provides the same certainty for UK citizens living in Spain and other EU countries.
They agreed that while our relationship may be rooted deeply in our past, it is just as important for our future as it has been in our history, and the friendship between our nations will continue to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.