The UK’s deal on a future relationship with the EU will not include Gibraltar without the agreement of the Spanish Government, the European Council’s draft Brexit negotiating guidelines made clear today.
The news has raised fears that the status of Gibraltar – which is highly dependent both on the free movement of people and the Single Market – could be altered by British exit from the European Union.
Commenting, Mary Creagh MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“The decision to leave the European Union has thrown Gibraltar’s future up into the air. The Rock depends on free movement of labour from Spain, and on its place in the Single Market to support its vital services industries.
“Brextremists should be ashamed that their actions have destabilised the situation in Gibraltar, undermining the wishes of the vast majority of its inhabitants to remain both a British Overseas Territory and a member of the European Union.
“Ministers should listen to the First Minister of Gibraltar, who this week said that Gibraltar should be no bargaining chip in, pawn in or victim of Brexit. At the moment, the Rock risks being treated as all three.”
Notes to editors:
The European Council’s draft guidelines say: “After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.”
Gibraltar’s First Minister, Fabian Picardo, said this week: “Gibraltar will be no-one’s bargaining chip. We will be no pawn in Brexit. And we will be no victim of Brexit.”
Source: Gibraltar Olive Press, 29 March 2017