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Gibraltar Provides Brexit Update

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
19 October, 2018

The Gibraltar Government has provided an update on its role in negotiations towards the UK's exit from the European Union and how the territory is preparing.

Gibraltar's Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have been actively engaged in Brexit meetings recently in Brussels and the territory's attorney general has been permanently based there for two weeks.

Meanwhile Financial Secretary Albert Mena and the Commissioner of Income Tax John Lester have been in Madrid discussing fiscal and tax issues.

The Government said in an October 14 statement: "The Government of Gibraltar has been, and continues to be, fully involved in the negotiations. The position as articulated for the United Kingdom remains the same for Gibraltar. No deal is better than a bad deal."

"The meetings have centred on the details of a specific Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement about Gibraltar to be entered into between the United Kingdom and the European Union. There will be similar protocols on Northern Ireland and on the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus."

"The definition of the term United Kingdom, under the Withdrawal Agreement, includes Gibraltar. The United Kingdom, under the 2006 Constitution, remains responsible for entering into international agreements on behalf of Gibraltar. However, the Government has made it clear that the practical implementation of the benefits and obligations of such agreements can only rest with the Gibraltar Government."

"The recourse mechanism for the UK-EU Agreement, if agreed, will be a Joint Committee at the top, with separate Specialised Committees covering areas like Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus."

On relations with Spain, the Government further said: "There will be a set of practical measures spelt out in separate arrangements with Spain covering tax cooperation, police and customs cooperation, the environment, citizens' rights and tobacco. These will be time limited, where necessary, to the end of the transition period which is December 2020. In keeping with the UK-EU structure, the proposed plan is for a number of Coordinating Committees to cover some of these topic areas and to report up the chain to the main UK-EU Committee."

It concluded: "It is important to bear in mind that the discussions on Gibraltar are part of the wider negotiations for the UK to exit the European Union and they play out against this broader background. The Government of Gibraltar, in the meantime, continues to prepare for all eventualities including the possibility of a no deal Brexit."

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