The Gibraltar Government is stepping up its contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, even though it believes such an outcome is “unlikely”.
Details of the increased focus on contingency planning were set out in a memo sent by the Chief Secretary, Darren Grech, to civil servants yesterday.
The Gibraltar Government, following the lead of the UK Government, has already published one technical note on passports advising citizens as to how to prepare for the run-up to withdrawal at the end of March next year.
Further technical notes will published in the weeks and months to come, with the public sector new ramping up its preparatory work behind the scenes.
“Negotiations between the UK and Gibraltar and EU institutions and partners are progressing well, and a scenario in which the UK and Gibraltar leave the EU without agreement still remains unlikely as both parties have mutual interests in securing a negotiated outcome,” Mr Grech wrote in the memo.
“It is however our duty as a responsible Government to cover all eventualities and have contingency and mitigating plans, including for a ‘no deal scenario’, until we are satisfied of the certain outcome of the negotiations.”
“The Government’s Brexit team have been working tirelessly on these plans for the past two years.”
“Many of you may have been involved in some aspects of it. In the next few months, we will be stepping up our approach to have these contingency and mitigating measures ready to go as from day one.”
“It has always been clear to us that the nearer to March 2019 we get, the more accelerated preparations the Government would need to make.”
“This does not in any way point to a greater likelihood of a ‘no deal’ scenario.”
“All this work is to ensure that the contingencies are in place in the unlikely event that they should need to be relied upon.”
Mr Grech thanked everyone involved in Brexit work for their efforts in helping to prepare Gibraltar for withdrawal.
He said in the memo that Brexit would likely be “the biggest issue” public servants would deal with in their careers.
“We should all take pride in the work that we are doing and its cross generational effect on our community,” he said.