British Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement this weekend that she intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017 brings into stark reality the urgency of action needed to counter the effects of Brexit on Gibraltar, the GSD has said. In a statement the Opposition has highlighted comments made by Mrs May such as that it is the UK Government, and not the devolved Governments of Scotland and Wales, let alone Gibraltar that will negotiate.
“Since the referendum, the Government has made various statements, from announcing that Brexit is an existential threat to our economy, to the rather fanciful idea that we could somehow remain in the EU with Scotland, to stating that trade with and access to the UK market is far more important than to the EU single market.”
“None of this inspires confidence in a ‘Master Plan’, which is what the Government says it is working on and, if it is, then there is cause for concern,” the GSD stated.
The GSD urged the Government to pursue Gibraltar being involved by the UK in all and any trade deals negotiated with the rest of the world.
“Such negotiations seem part of the UK’s strategy for the future,” the GSD said adding that is a strategy that Gibraltar will benefit from and should seek to be included in.
“It is already over three months since the referendum and we are only now arriving at the establishment of the Parliamentary Committee which will be debated this coming Friday.”
The GSD said this delay amounts to a “wasted opportunity” that could have brought all sides together to work towards the best possible solution for Gibraltar.
The GSD said it assumes from the Government’s rhetoric, that it has already made its mind up on how it wishes to proceed. But added that it will continue to strive to work with the Government for what will hopefully be a satisfactory outcome from Brexit.
The GSD added that it accepts the Government’s right to lead and make decisions.
“Government bears a heavy responsibility in this respect in what will be extremely testing times for our community.”
“We look forward to being briefed through the Select Committee on precisely what the nature of the ‘Master Plan’ is.”