Spain would see Brexit as an invitation to ‘pile on the agony’ for Gibraltar, Julie Girling MEP has said as she yesterday vowed to do all she can to stick up for the Rock in such an event.
Ms Girling, MEP for the South West and Gibraltar, also praised a report by a committee of MPs warning that Gibraltar would be cut off and undermined by Spain if Britain leaves the EU.
Ms Girling said the report from the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee was: “A wake-up call to anyone who thinks quitting the EU will be consequence free.”
“In fact leaving will diminish our prospects and standing, and harm our friends in so many ways that people do not automatically consider.”
She added: “There can be no doubt that Spain would see Brexit as an invitation to pile on the agony for Gibraltar.”
“These are grave concerns. I will do all I can to stick up for my electorate – but the surest way of doing right by them is to keep Britain inside a reformed EU.”
The committee heard evidence from Gibraltar’s Government that the peninsula’s shipping trade, online gaming industry and finance sector could all be damaged by Brexit.
And Spain would take advantage of any renegotiation in order to further undermine, isolate and exclude Gibraltar from the European mainstream.
Brexit would lead to “tremendous uncertainty” because Spain’s tactic of causing border delays was only moderated by EU rules over free movement of people.
It said: “No doubt, without those EU rules, the border could become a wall and the general position would be intolerable.”