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Gibraltar Worried About Becoming A Brexit Bargaining Chip

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
02 February, 2018

Gibraltar's Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia, has said it would be manifestly unfair if Gibraltar were to become a "whipping boy" in disagreements between the EU and the UK on Brexit.

In a speech to Brussels think tank the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Garcia said nobody had anything to gain by excluding Gibraltar from the transition or the future relationship agreement between the EU and the UK. He was discussing the fractious relationship between Gibraltar and Spain, which could seek to block the UK's exit deal over provisions concerning the neighboring territory.

Garcia stressed the importance of continued cross-border fluidity once Gibraltar is outside the EU. He said this is important for the 13,000 people who live in Spain and work in Gibraltar, including nationals of all the EU member states, as well as those who live on either side of the Spanish/Gibraltar border, tourists, and others.

Garcia told the audience that Gibraltar is a European success story and a microcosm of what Europe should be, adding it would be a tragedy if this was lost going forward. He reminded those listening that 96 percent of Gibraltarians had voted to remain in the EU in the June 2016 referendum, but that many were now disappointed following publication of last year's European Council negotiating guidelines, which appeared to give Spain a veto over whether Gibraltar would be included in any future EU/UK deal.

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