Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Backing Gibraltar

During the Brexit negotiations it is extremely important that we should show full support to the people of Gibraltar.

They have been loyal to Britain for three centuries and we should not forget their interests when setting the terms under which we leave the European Union.

I think it is an excellent thing that Theresa May visited Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so early in her premiership: if she could visit Gibraltar too that would send an important signal.

There is an excellent article on the subject by Luke Coffey on Conservative Home:

"May must protect Gibraltar from Spain during Brexit."

Among the good points he makes:

The process should be deemed a success for Gibraltar "provided that:

1) Gibraltar remains wholly and completely British (for as long as its inhabitants want this);

2) Gibraltar retains its attractiveness to foreign investors by remaining a regional financial, shipping, high-tech, and tourism hub, and

3) Gibraltar maintains its current economic growth well into the future." 

His other suggestions include

"the future of Gibraltar outside the EU should not be treated as a bilateral issue between the UK and Spain. This is what Spain wants. Instead, the post-Brexit status of the Rock must be addressed during the Article 50 negotiations with EU. While the status of Gibraltar is important to Spain, it is peripheral to the rest of the EU. It is unlikely that Brussels (or Berlin) will allow Spain to hijack the issue."

and

"the new Department of Exiting the European Union should establish a Gibraltar Planning Unit dedicated solely to looking after Gibraltar-specific issues that will arise during the Article 50 talks." 

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