Government explains Brexit concerns to Foreign Affairs Committee

2016-03-28 08:00:00

The government of Gibraltar has submitted a paper to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons about the consequences for Gibraltar of a vote to leave the EU in the referendum which is to be held on June 23rd.
The document explains that Gibraltar entered the European Economic Community, as it was then, in 1973 as a European territory for whose external relations a Member State is responsible. It outlines Gibraltar’s terms of membership and traces the sequence of events that led to the opening of the border in 1985.
The paper points out that “EU membership has been an important factor in the development of Gibraltar’s economy” and explains how Gibraltar has embraced the challenge of compliance with regulations and directives. It stresses that access to the single market is important to Gibraltar’s economy and adds that commerce in Gibraltar, and indeed in the neighbouring Spanish region, relies on free flow through the border.
The government points out the importance to Gibraltar of ensuring proper access through the frontier and it gives details of the problems that arose in 2013 and necessitated the personal intervention of Prime Minister David Cameron.
“Our membership of the European Union has been a unifying issue in Gibraltar politics,” the paper emphasises, adding that both the government and the opposition in Gibraltar are united over the need to remain in the European Union.
It is “important that there should be clarity as to the rights the British Government will protect and defend for Gibraltar in the context of its own negotiations if the referendum votes for leaving the EU,” says the paper.
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, says the Foreign Affairs Committee has been very helpful to Gibraltar in the past and he has no doubt that the paper “will greatly assist them and other British parliamentarians in understanding the deeply held concerns of the people of Gibraltar.”source surinenglish