Gibraltar Addresses EU Committee On Brexit
by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
01 February, 2017
Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, recently addressed the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee on the United Kingdom's referendum to leave the European Union.
Picardo emphasized that Gibraltar had voted overwhelmingly for the UK to remain in the EU. He attributed this to a variety of reasons including Gibraltar's political unity on the subject; concern that Spain would use Brexit to advance its sovereignty claim; the view that the EU provides a degree of protection against Spain's claim; Gibraltar's location on the continental mainland and its blend of European nationalities; and the significant EU funding that Gibraltar receives, a total of GBP60m (USD75m) in 16 years.
Picardo said that Gibraltar is the second largest employer for the whole of Andalucía, and that a mutually beneficial free flowing border benefits both Spain and Gibraltar. He said Gibraltar is prepared to consider any reasonable solution to safeguard border flows, including the establishment of a special relationship with the Schengen Area or the establishment of a common travel or immigration area between Gibraltar and the EU, subject to the customs controls that are currently in place.
Picardo emphasized the importance of Gibraltar's continued access to the EU single market in services, which represents about ten percent of its financial and other services businesses.
He concluded by urging the EU and UK to negotiate in the best interest and for the mutual benefit of each other's citizens, and with a sympathetic eye on the people of Gibraltar and its surrounding region.
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