Prime Minister Theresa May took a personal interest in Gibraltar on Sunday evening, attending the Gibraltar Government’s reception at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham and delivering a clear, unequivocal message: “We back Gibraltar.”
The UK said it continued to work with Gibraltar towards a Brexit deal that “fully recognizes the priorities of the Rock”. The Department for Exiting the European Union made the statement after the seventh meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar Governments, which took place in London at the Cabinet Office on Monday morning.
Jean Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has again underlined the EU’s position that the Brexit deal must “fully respect” the terms of the Gibraltar veto granted to Spain in the bloc’s negotiating guidelines.
Spain hopes to reach an agreement with the UK over Gibraltar by the summer, its foreign minister has said. Alfonso Dastis said Spain would defend our position but the two sides were working towards an agreement as soon as possible. The UK says informal talks are going on about Gibraltar's post-Brexit future with Spain.
Gibraltar’s presence in an increasingly interconnected world means it will not be isolated as a result of Brexit, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Spanish television, even as he described the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union as “madness”.
By Mike Gapes (*) For the future security and stability of our country, our continent and the world this is the worst possible moment for the UK to be leaving the European Union. Unfortunately, we are planning to leave our European partners at a time when there is going to be less and less agreement amongst the most important countries about how to deal with current and emerging global problems.
Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alfonso Dastis, will visit the Campo de Gibraltar in September to discuss the impact of Brexit on cross-border workers and the wider region. The forthcoming visit was announced late Thursday night following a meeting in Madrid between the minister and officials from the Campo.
The European Commission has made clear that Gibraltar is part of the Brexit withdrawal negotiations and that Spain’s additional veto only applies in respect of the UK’s future arrangements with the EU.
Delegations of the Gibraltar and United Kingdom Governments have met in Gibraltar on Friday for a full day of discussions covering a wide range of issues.
Gibraltar is preparing for a hard Brexit but expects new opportunities for its financial services sector despite the challenges ahead, Finance Centre Director James Tipping told a European Parliament committee in Brussels. Mr Tipping told the parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion that Gibraltar’s finance centre was “small by European standards” but crucial to Gibraltar’s economy.