The Cross-Frontier Group has reaffirmed its commitment to cross-border cooperation in the face of the complex challenges posed by the Brexit vote in last week’s referendum.
The group met yesterday in Gibraltar to analyse recent developments ahead of a meeting with the PSOE president of the Junta de Andalucia, Susana Díaz, perhaps as early as next Monday.
The group is also planning meetings with politicians here and in the Campo de Gibraltar, as well as a trip to Brussels to meet EU officials.
“The situation is a complex one but within that, there is lot of optimism and eagerness to continue working together,” said Angel Serrano, Campo secretary general for leading Spanish union UGT and the group’s current chairman.
“We are all agreed that now more than ever, we need to have more cooperation and we need to work together to try and maintain the status quo.”
Sr Serrano said the group was analysing the different ways that Brexit might impact on cross-border workers and businesses on either side of the frontier.
But he said its members – which include unions and employers – were committed to working together to find creative solutions to the challenges ahead.
“What we want to ensure is that politicians – I don’t care who they might be – seek to exploit this situation for their own ends at the expense of citizens,” he said.
“We have to take a calm approach, keep the ball on the ground, and ensure that politicians engage properly because without their help, we are nothing.”
“We hope they cooperate.”
He added: “The important thing is to maintain this cooperation between unions and employers because it is the only way of resolving the issue of employment, which is the main thing.”
That message was echoed by the group’s Gibraltarian vice president, Alfredo Vasquez from the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses.
“We’re still here as a group and we have a very united front,” Mr Vasquez said.
“The message remains the same. Although it may seem that a lot has changed, in reality not much has yet changed.”
“Our objective remain the same, we’re pushing for a smooth, fluid border conditions, always, and not just in terms of the workers but of other cooperative initiatives between Gibraltar and Spain.”