The Gibraltar Government would urge the UK to “stop Brexit completely” if MPs vote against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement next week, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said. Speaking to GBC after returning to Gibraltar from London, Picardo highlighted two important developments this week which he said had opened up new possibilities as the UK Parliament grapples with the Brexit divorce deal this week.1 comment
After the end of the European Council meeting, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union, Ambassador Sir Tim Barrow, has written to the Secretaries General of the Council and Commission of the European Union.
The Government has noted the comments about Gibraltar made by the Foreign Minister of Spain this morning following a meeting of the General Affairs Council of the European Union.
The Chief Minister has immediately been in touch with the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street.
Spain has said it will not agree to the draft Brexit withdrawal deal without clarity over how talks on the future status of Gibraltar should be handled. Foreign minister Josep Borrell insisted that talks about the territory were “separate negotiations”.
The proposed Withdrawal Agreement published on Wednesday by the United Kingdom and European Union makes it clear that its terms, including the transitional period, will apply to Gibraltar. According to a release from the Gibraltar government “this was the number one priority of the Cabinet and of the Government and it has been achieved. It means that Gibraltar will not crash out of the European Union in March 2019 and that things will largely remain as they are until the end of 2020”.
Gibraltar will step up its contingency planning as from January 1, 2019, if there is no certainty of a Withdrawal Agreement and implementation period by that date, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told an influential House of Lords select committee. Addressing the EU Select Committee, he also signaled his hope that Gibraltar, the UK and Spain could salvage elements of the Gibraltar negotiations even in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit between the UK and the EU.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez both sent positive signals about the progress of Brexit talks relating to Gibraltar, effectively confirming the Rock’s inclusion in any withdrawal and transitional arrangements to soften the process of leaving the EU.
Gibraltar, the UK and the EU are “moments away” from agreeing the terms of a protocol to include Gibraltar in any Withdrawal Agreement and transitional arrangements reached between the UK and the EU, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Monday.
The United Nations’ strategy on decolonization “is not working”, Dr Joseph Garcia said on Monday as he outlined efforts by successive Gibraltarian governments spanning five decades to convince the UN to remove the Rock from its list of colonies.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the European Union can be one that creates “prosperity and benefits” for Gibraltar and the wider surrounding region, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told the United Nations General Assembly.