Brexit M’Lord? Don’t forget Gibraltar.
Having just watched the snippet of a debate in the House of Lords yesterday although the rhetoric was positive “Britain’s commitment to include Gibraltar within the scope of its Brexit deal could not be clearer” said Lord Callanan, the Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, responding to a battery of questions from peers on Gibraltar. Click here to view fast forward to 15.00.54 He insisted Gibraltar was being fully involved in the Brexit negotiations and had regular meetings with representatives of our Government. He also said we were covered by any future agreement, adding that Spain had engaged with the UK Government on this issue in a “constructive and helpful” manner.
Several points arose from members of the chamber especially those with a more close contact with Gibraltar which is worth checking out.
Brexit Secretary David Davis also told a Lords’ EU select committee that the UK Government was “…working on the premise that both the implementation period and the future arrangement would cover Gibraltar. It’s not to say there won’t be some scratchy negotiation with one or other individual country” clearly alluding to Spain. The guidelines adopted yesterday made a specific reference to Gibraltar and the Clause 24 “veto” already granted by the EU to Spain, which seeks to give Madrid a controlling say on the application of any future or transitional deal to Gibraltar. Lord Callanan made the point that the Lords should not use the word “veto” in this instance. We in Gibraltar believe the EU gave Spain exactly that during the negotiation opening salvoes and we expect it to be enacted in exactly that way as the negotiations get near our position.
In a brief meeting in Brussels, the EU27 gave their approval to new guidelines for chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, ahead of talks expected to conclude in March.
Clearly there is a lot to work out and debates such as this seem frustrating but it does help to keep Gibraltar on the table and in the mind. On the other hand it does lots of good for Gibraltar to be widening it’s appeal and willingness to take on new areas in readiness for the day Brexit comes. Acquarius are already expanding our portfolio of products to help future clients and existing ones. This coupled with our close liaison with the Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission is the way forward for our continues prosperity.