Proposals for a common market between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar are being analysed “as a matter of urgency”, according to Robin Walker, junior minister in the British Government’s Department for Exiting the European Union.
The minister made the comment during a debate on ‘the impact of the EU referendum on Gibraltar’ in the House of Commons in which MPs also called for firmer action by the Foreign Office in the face of Spain’s “heavy handed” stance toward Gibraltar, a guarantee on cross-border freedom of movement and a framework to protect the passporting of financial services into the EU single market.
The debate had been secured by the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gibraltar, Jack Lopresti, and was described as “historic” because it was the first time that the new Brexit Ministry had responded to a debate in the House of Commons.
“I really welcome the Chief Minister’s proposal for a common market between the UK and Gibraltar and the support that this proposal not surprisingly has received today from across the House,” Mr Walker said.
“The Chief Minister is understandably very keen to demonstrate, whatever the ultimate relationship between the UK, Gibraltar and the EU, trade between the UK and Gibraltar can continue as it always has.”
Mr Walker added that the United Kingdom deeply values British sovereignty over Gibraltar and is fully committed to promoting the interests of all Gibraltarians.
“We will work in close partnership with the Government of Gibraltar to ensure that Gibraltar’s interests are properly taken into account in the upcoming negotiations with the European Union; together we will continue to explore ways to ensure trade continues between the UK and Gibraltar in the same way that it does now,” he said.
A number of MPs participating in the debate backed the idea of a UK-Gibraltar common market and called on the minister to act on it immediately.
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