Gibraltar chief confirms ‘thumping progress’ made in Brexit talks between UK and Spain

LBC host Nick Ferrari asked the Finance Minister: “For the people of Gibraltar as they see what is happening as regards to Brexit if you were to stop 10 people on the high street what would they be saying?” Albert Isola replied: “Gibraltar has been very clear, we voted 96 percent of the referendum to remain. But obviously, from that day onwards, our focus has been entirely on doing what the British people voted for which is delivering Brexit.

“So we’ve worked extremely hard and very closely with the UK Government.

“Probably closer than ever before, in panning out what post-Brexit would look like in the relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.

“We’ve done really well, we’ve made huge progress, both in terms of our commercial and our political links with the UK.”

Nick Ferrari then posed the question: “So where would the pressure point be for Gibraltar and Gibraltarians in a post-Brexit world?”

Mr Isola answered: “I think the biggest challenge for us is the land frontier with Spain.

“Even though that frontier today shouldn’t change post-Brexit because we’re outside the Customs Union so we have the customs checker outside Schengen.

“So we have the immigration checks. 

“There shouldn’t be any change but of course, over the past two years, we’ve had issues with with unreasonable delays by the Spanish officials.

“We’ve been able to campaign to the European Union.”

The Finance Minister continued:”The European Union has made it very clear that they will take the side of Spain in any dispute over Gibraltar and so that makes it very difficult for us.

“That is our big concern but we have done a lot of work with the Spanish Government as well as with the UK Government to try and resolve these tensions. 

“We have entered into a tax agreement with Spain and a double tax agreement with the United Kingdom

“During these three years of uncertainty and challenge we have made some thumping progress.”  

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Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Brexit earlier this month: “Our Post Brexit Economic Plan conservatively estimates at least a continued 15 percent growth over the life of the next Parliament at the very least.

“Without such a recession, without a hard Brexit or, with no Brexit at all, our growth will be even higher.

“Brexit is not a subject we can avoid.

“But it is a subject that, like most, has a silver lining we have identified for Gibraltar although it is also undoubtedly a cloud of sorts.”

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