Italian senator and former European commissioner Mario Monti spoke this week of his “real puzzlement, pain and unhappiness” at the prospect of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, addressing journalists at an international awards event during which Gibraltar’s Albert Isola also described how the Rock was seeking to turn Brexit challenges into opportunities.
The Foreign Press Association’s annual awards, which as in previous years were part-sponsored by the Gibraltar Government, brought together big names from across the UK media industry and London’s diplomatic corps to celebrate cutting-edge journalism from around the world.
As they dined in a ballroom in London’s Sheraton Grand hotel on a menu prepared by award winning Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, guests applauded work covering everything from the siege of Aleppo to the trial of workers in the UK’s gig economy.
Inevitably perhaps, Brexit was ever present.
In an opening address Mr Monti, who had played a key role in creating the single market and overseeing EU competition rules, spoke of his admiration for the UK’s “intellectual and political legacy”, insisting that Britain had “left a real mark” on the EU.
“It will be a less good EU without the UK in it,” Mr Monti said.
“I can’t imagine a more perfect lose lose situation than this one. Both sides will lose.”
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