On the 16th of May 2022, The Chief Minister addressed parliament giving an update on the current state of the Brexit negotiations. In respect of the continuing negotiations, and of particular interest to members, he stated;
“Gibraltar will continue to work constructively, together with the United Kingdom, to secure an international treaty based on the framework agreement concluded with Spain on 31 December 2020. That framework provided a delicate balance on a number of important issues. However, since the UK or Gibraltar would never accept an agreement which would sacrifice fundamentals or put Gibraltar’s future prosperity in jeopardy, we must also be ready to walk away, everything including the Transaction Tax is still on the negotiating table along with other measures such as land and air transport, the rights of cross border workers, the environment, financial support, and establishing a level playing field.”
The proposed negotiating directives put forward solutions to “remove physical checks and controls on persons and goods at the land border between Spain and Gibraltar while ensuring the integrity of the Schengen area and the Single Market”
The address in Parliament concluded with the following statement from the Chief Minister…
“On the morning of the 24th June 2016, our political world changed forever. We must understand that as we reach the final throes of this process. We must understand that Spain remains a member state of the EU and we are not. We must understand that things we had the right to do in Europe before we are now NOT entitled to. My obligation from then has been to steer a course to continued prosperity and to seek a path to future prosperity in an exclusively British Gibraltar. We have a plan for being outside the EU now and a plan for being outside the EU in four years’ time if needs be. Our better plan is the plan that sees us enter into arrangements with the EU so long as the circumstances for those arrangements are right and remain right. We are leaving no stone unturned to negotiate a safe, secure and positive agreement for Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU”.
“We will continue to work night and day, in good faith, to achieve that”.
Following the address in Parliament, the GFSB has been briefed by the Chief Minister on the current situation regarding the Brexit negotiations. The meeting was offered to the Board on the condition that the information shared was confidential. In order to continue working hard behind the scenes on behalf of our members to gather and distil this in the formation, the condition of confidentiality was accepted by the Board. As a result, and due to the sensitivity of the negotiations the details apart from those currently in the public domain cannot be shared at this point in time.
The GFSB is in contact with No. 6 and has requested, and will push to be included, in all future updates in order to and when appropriate, communicate effectively to its members the outcome and to assert pressure on Government to negotiate an agreement that secures the interests of our members.