The problem with Mr Isola’s latest statement that it was inevitable that the UK would put Gibraltar in the list of high-risk countries is that it is inconsistent with what he told Parliament. Accordingly, he is resorting to public school boy name-calling in an attempt to cover his own tracks.
It should seem that Mr Isola has no answer to the fact that, firstly, he deliberately represented to Parliament, the financial services industry and to the wider public that being FATF grey-listed did not mean that Gibraltar would be subjected to enhanced due diligence and, secondly, in the same breath that the UK were being extremely supportive. It was a clear implication that the industry could hope for better than being inevitably put on the high-risk list. Given that since 1 January 2021 the UK has run its own stand-alone list the electorate would understandably take that Ministerial statement at face value. However, if he knew it was inevitable then surely he should have said so and not implied the opposite. Or, is it that he did not know at the time and it is his very own lack of homework, which he is now trying to cover up?
The charge therefore that the Minister for Financial Services dismally failed to pre-warn the financial services sector of the, and as he now for the first time puts it, apparently inevitable inclusion into the UK list of high-risk third countries, remains unanswered.
The fact that the Government continually fails to address that point clearly proves that it is he and not the Opposition who did not do his homework.
“He talks of holes and digging when he either did not know of the existence the hole Gibraltar would find itself in or he tried to cover it up and ignore it. He needs to focus more on prizing us out of the hole and less on trading insults!” said GSD spokesman Damon Bossino.