Deputy chief minister calls for "sensible" Brexit discussions
Dr Joseph Garcia, Gibraltar’s deputy chief minister, told students this week that a “managed” and “sensible” Brexit discussion is in the best interests of both Spain and Gibraltar. Dr Garcia was speaking to pupils from local schools following a presentation by a group who had returned from a visit to the EU institutions in Brussels.
Dr Garcia explained that 12,000 people, most of them Spanish, live in Spain but work in Gibraltar so they count on a fluid border in order to make a living. He pointed out that 25 per cent of the GDP of the surrounding area of Spain is generated by Gibraltar, and that “Gibraltar PLC” is the second largest employer for Andalucía after the Junta. He also firmly rejected the proposal by former Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Margallo for shared sovereignty between the UK and Spain as the price to pay for Gibraltar remaining in the EU.
Dr Garcia outlined the work that the Gibraltar government has done so far in relation to Brexit, from meetings with British prime minister Theresa May and government ministers to a comprehensive statistical analysis of the impact of leaving the European Union across every area of government and the private sector. He also described the lobbying work that continues to be conducted in public and behind the scenes to best protect Gibraltar’s position.
The deputy chief minister pointed out that even today different parts of the British family of nations enjoyed a different degree of participation with the EU. With regard to the procedure for departure from the European Union under Article 50, Gibraltar and the UK will remain in the EU and entitled to the rights bestowed by EU membership until the moment of departure in years to come. Even then, Gibraltar would continue to maintain a relationship with the European Union.source surinenglish