Clause 22 requires removal to protect Gibraltar’s Economic Interests

We welcome the statements made by UK Government and its Ministers over the weekend.  The GSD, however, believes that there has been a focus in those statements on sovereignty commitments.  Welcome as these are, the double lock commitment of the UK Government in respect of sovereignty is inviolable.  The attempt to exclude Gibraltar from any UK-EU BREXIT deal requires an unequivocal rejection of the so-called clause 22.

Over the next few months the UK and the EU will attempt to agree by consensus a list of issues or an agenda, which will be carried forward for negotiation in any BREXIT deal.  That is why Spain has played its hand early.  Any inclusion of clause 22 in that consensus list or agenda should be wholly unacceptable for the UK Government.  This is not about sovereignty.  It is about protecting the economic interests of our community in circumstances where we are being singled out at the earliest possible juncture for exclusion.

Over the last year the GSD has argued that Gibraltar’s goals should remain simple and from the outset we outlined what those goals should be: access to the UK market, access to any trade deals negotiated by the UK with third counties and the EU, together with a sensible agreement in respect of the frontier.  Nothing that undermines those objectives should be acceptable to us.

In addition, we should continue to attempt to develop alternative non-EU dependent markets.  Gibraltar has always shown it is an agile jurisdiction which can adapt and we simply need to get on it.  In this regard, the Leader of the Opposition is visiting Morocco today for high level meetings.  He has already done so on a number of occasions in the past eight months.  Roy Clinton will be acting Leader of the Opposition in his absence.

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