Labour MEP for Gibraltar Clare Moody has urged the British Government to “get on with it” and guarantee Gibraltar’s future within the Brexit process before a wider deal is due to be ratified later this year.
Ms Moody was speaking ahead of Brexit conference to be held on the Rock today.
The event, which is organised by Unite the Union, will hear from speakers including Unite Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett, Simon Dubbins, the union’s Director of International, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Ms Moody.
Speaking to Unite Brexit Check ahead of today’s conference, the MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar said the UK’s failure to get agreement on Gibraltar in time for the March transition period statement was “lamentable”.
“It is a disgrace that the UK government failed to clarify Gibraltar’s position as part of the March transition deal,” she said.
“It’s good to hear that talks are progressing but May and her ministers really need to get on with this.”
But Ms Moody added it was vital that the Gibraltar government had a seat at the table at those talks.
“As Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has said, there cannot be a return to a bilateral process of talks between the UK and Spain about Gibraltar,” she said.
She also called on the UK government to make clear its position on the Spanish foreign minister’s comments that Spain wanted to address “some of the irritants that have plagued our relationship in the last few years”, including the transparency of Gibraltar’s tax systems and issues around border controls.
But Ms Moody also wanted to know what the UK’s negotiating position is regarding Gibraltar airport.
“The infrastructure is already there for the Spanish side of the airport to be developed. Developing their side, as designed in the 2006 Cordoba Agreement would be fantastic for the economies both of Gibraltar and of the part of Andalucia that borders the Rock.”
“The important thing is that we get an agreement on the airport that works for everyone. Having a northern exit from the airport into Spain, inside the Schengen area, could be made to work for all.”