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Gibraltar Says Brexit Must Be 'Sensible'

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
30 November, 2016

Gibraltar's Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia, has told British and Irish lawmakers that a "sensible Brexit" is needed.

Instead of a "hard Brexit" or a "soft Brexit", Garcia said that what was required was a "sensible, well managed, and orderly Brexit," describing it as not only in the best interests of Gibraltar and Spain but also of the United Kingdom and the European Union as a whole.

Garcia delivered the keynote address to the official dinner of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Cardiff Castle. The Assembly consists of lawmakers from the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

He said that although 96 percent of Gibraltarians had voted to remain in the European Union, the overall result to was to leave. "We are where we are and we have to deal with it," he said.

He explained that many people have come to regard the application of EU law at the border as providing a degree of protection against the excesses of a difficult neighbor – that is, Spain – and went over the importance to both sides of fluid land access between Gibraltar and Spain. He drew parallels between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, noting that 14,800 people commute across the Irish border to work.

Garcia closed by raising the question of a "differentiated relationship" between members of the British family of nations and the European Union post-Brexit. He said that this multi-faceted relationship already exists at present between the EU, and with Gibraltar, Scotland, Jersey, and the Falklands, which each enjoy a different degree of participation with the EU.

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