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Chief minister says Boris Johnson expressed his "continued" and "fulsome" support for Gibraltar

Fabian Picardo.
Fabian Picardo. / EFE FILE PHOTO
  • In a statement to parliament on Monday, Picardo said that the Rock did not necessarily have to be part of a the UK's new trading relationship with the EU if it wasn't in its interest

The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, made a statement to the Gibraltar parliament on Monday about the results of the UK election and the way forward with Brexit, which is expected to take place on 31 January.

Fabian Picardo said that when he congratulated Boris Johnson on his electoral victory last week, “the prime minister reiterated directly to me his continued and entirely fulsome support for Gibraltar”.

He also pointed out that thanks to the work done by the Gibraltar government, the Rock will be leaving the EU with the benefit of the Withdrawal Agreement and the transitional arrangements, something which at one time was thought might not be the case.

However, he also warned that Gibraltar “must not fall into the trap…. of thinking that we must be a part of the FTA [Free Trade Agreement] to be negotiated between the UK and the EU.

"That new trading relationship may not include anything of interest to us on the benefit side of the equation and many obligations on the liability side of the equation. Such a trading relationship may cover services, or it may not. If it does include services, it may include matters related to financial services, or it may not.

"So we must be clear in understanding that we will need to be involved from the beginning but ready to walk away in the end if the balance of rights and obligations is bad for Gibraltar businesses and bad for the people of Gibraltar. We must hold our nerve and be ready to do a great deal for Gibraltar,” he told the House.

The chief minister also reiterated that there will be no compromise on Gibraltar’s sovereignty, no matter what, saying, “We are never going to sell our birthright for a commercial advantage”.

This stance was also supported by the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, in his response to Mr Picardo’s statement.