Gibraltar enters Brexit debate

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Union and EU flags merging.

In a letter published in the November 7 in the British magazine The Economist, Fabian Picardo, Caretaker Chief Minister of Gibraltar wrote the following;

“Your special report on the debate about Britain leaving the European Union (October 17th) refreshingly demythologised many of the assertions made in favour of a “Brexit”. 

I represent 22,000 Gibraltarians who will be able to participate in Britain’s referendum. David Cameron has been supportive of Gibraltar’s rights and as eager Europeans we back his bid to remain in a reformed, better, EU (Gibraltar had to win a case at the European Court of Human Rights to secure voting rights in the EU and we vote as part of the United Kingdom’s South West).

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Access to the single market, especially for financial services, is critical to our economy just as it is for Britain. Hugely imperfect as it may be, the European Commission, which asks a lot of us in terms of regulation, has firmly challenged Madrid’s bid to squeeze our access to free movement of goods and services despite the fact that we provide jobs for 6,000 Spaniards. The EU is good for them and for our economy.

Leaving the EU would be like opting out of the digital age, a jump into the unknown that will cut off markets, access and influence. I would add Gibraltar to your geopolitical analysis. We remain an important military asset at a time when the Mediterranean is crucial in relation to north African and Russian issues. Every piece of the jigsaw counts. Let’s keep it together.”

If the people of Gibraltar quite understandably wish to have their opinion on the Brexit heard, then it is also plain that those British passport holders who have lived overseas for more than 15 years also want to have their say, especially those who actually live in the EU and are currently disenfranchised.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Editor,

    You do not appear to have a letters column but I would like to comment on Gibraltarian minister Fabian Picardo’s fear that Brexit would mean the loss of trade and jobs.

    But why should that be so? We are surely not seeking to rescind the common market membership, as it applies to trade, only the political union aspects of membership. The public generally has no desire to go in deeper and wishes to be free of being run by unelected civil servants controlled by Germany and France, both of whom have a history of attempted colonisation of the continent.

    There is surely no risk of the EU imposing tariffs on UK imports. Trade is two-way and neither Germany nor France can wish to see retaliation tariffs in the UK on, for instance on cars, where the UK is a very major market for companies like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagon and Renault.

    Peter Webb

  2. Dear Editor, can I urge expats who are state pensioners, to register to vote, (if they haven’t already), in the Brexit campaign. I have been in touch with the MP in the area I used to live in, in England, and she in turn has passed my query on to a Euro MP. I received an email today, (18 April), saying that: if you are an expat pensioner who moved or is moving to a country out side the EU you will still receive your state pension, but WON’T receive any increase over the following years. This could also apply to expat pensioners in EU countries if Britain choose to leave the EU. This would probably happen after the second year of leaving. I believe that whether people in Britain vote to stay or leave the EU, they are doing it for their own interest, so I personally will be voting to stay in the EU because it will be in my interest.

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