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PRESS RELEASE No: 695/2018 Date: 15th November 2018

Gibraltar is part of UK-EU transitional period

The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: “This Protocol contains absolutely no concessions on sovereignty, jurisdiction or control. We would not have accepted it if it had. There are no issues of bilateralism that can cause any concern. Gibraltar, for EU purposes, has always been included in the definition of the Member State United Kingdom. This is an important part of our inclusion in the proposed Implementation Period and the definition of the United Kingdom in the Withdrawal Agreement. There are no matters which in any way challenge our fundamental positions on any keys issues. I expect to make a Ministerial Statement explaining the details of the Protocol and the Memoranda of Understanding next week. I am satisfied that the aspects of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement which relate to Gibraltar work for Gibraltar. There are many more documents to be published so that every part of the Protocol and its effect on Gibraltar can be properly analysed and understood.”

In his Press Release (above), the Chief Minister explicitly states that there have been absolutely no concessions on sovereignty, jurisdiction or control.

I would simply ask the Chief Minister to state if the concessions, changes and inclusions discussed and, by virtue of the Agreement, if ratified, brought into Law, are bringing into the governance and Government of Gibraltar are not exactly that, as I have previously described.

  • As of today’s date, how many Spanish government officials have any say, whatsoever, over the operations of the Gibraltar airport? The answer, of course, is none.
  • The statement, in the Agreement, reads:- Union law on air transport which did not apply to the Gibraltar airport before 30 March 2019 shall only become applicable to the Gibraltar airport from the date established by the Joint Committee. The Joint Committee shall adopt the decision thereon upon notification by the United Kingdom and Spain that they have reached a satisfactory agreement on the use of the Gibraltar airport.
  • In other words, Spain WILL have a direct influence, jointly with the United Kingdom, within a Committee on the future use of the airport. 
  • Spanish Government officials will, therefore, have a direct influence upon a singular area, namely the Gibraltar airport, both in operations and planning. This is plainly  Concession No. 1.
  • As I do not wish to pepper this statement with prolixities, I would group most of my queries together.
  • As of today’s date, Gibraltar operates its own law with regard to tax and money practices in general, tax on cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, petrol; operates and makes its own decisions on fishing, access to its waters, sewage, earnings and taxes related therein of both Gibraltar citizens and Spanish workers. In accord with UK law, and with Westminster’s agreement, Gibraltar has run its own affairs competently, with the only hindrance in day-to-day operations coming solely from one direction, across the border: from the Government of Spain.
  • As far as can be gathered from the more-than-slightly-opaque wording of the various clauses within the Agreement specific to Gibraltar, the citizens of Gibraltar can look forward to Spanish Government input, and concessions from the Gibraltar Government: including tax and money practices in general, taxes on cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, petrol; fishing, access to its waters, sewage, earnings and taxes related therein of both Gibraltar citizens and Spanish workers. Concessions Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, & 11.
  • The Chief Minister must acknowledge that the Spanish Government, over the years, has made life immeasurably more difficult for ordinary Gibraltarians to live in peace and carry on with their lives. Once the Spanish have been given, by diktat from Brussels, a foothold in any areas of governance within the Territory, can he guarantee that more intrusions can be withheld?

As the the secretary of state for the EU, Marco Aguiriano, said to the El Mundo newspaper, Spain plans to broach the issue of shared sovereignty in the longer term.

“If the first thing we say when we sit down at the table is that we want to put our flag on the Rock, then the meeting [with the British] will be very short,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“Of course we are going to propose [co-sovereignty], but not on the first day of negotiating the future relationship.”

A reply from Mr. Picardo….

Once again, for the avoidance of doubt is utterly & completely misrepresenting every aspect of the as yet unpublished arrangements which are being finalised. The article referred to below is worse than tripe. Zero concessions of any sort. Glad my socialism is a factor! Ha!

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