Chief Minister updates House of Lords committee about Brexit and Gibraltar

Fabian Picardo in a file photo.
Fabian Picardo in a file photo. / AFP
  • Fabian Picardo appeared before the House of Lords EU Committee in a virtual meeting yesterday to discuss the Brexit negotiations and their effect on the Rock

In a virtual meeting livestreamed by local television, chief minister Fabian Picardo spoke to the House of Lords EU Committee on Thursday about the negotiations for the future relationship between the UK and EU and their implications for Gibraltar. He was accompanied by deputy chief minister Dr Joseph Garcia, Attorney General Michael Llamas and Financial Secretary Albert Mena. The EU Committee was chaired by Lord Kinnoull.

Picardo told the Lords committee that Gibraltar had prepared for a hard Brexit, although he hoped it would not happen as it would be bad for Britain, Gibraltar and the EU. However, he assured them that Gibraltar would thrive even without a trading agreement with the EU. He also stressed that his government is closely involved in all aspects of the negotiations which relate to Gibraltar and that communications with the UK have been "seamless" and did not stop during the coronavirus crisis.

The chief minister brought the Lords EU Committee up to date with the committees established under the Memoranda of Understanding which run alongside the Gibraltar Protocol, saying that the first meeting in Algeciras between representatives from Gibraltar, Spain and the UK was held in a convivial and constructive atmosphere, and the next one will take place in Gibraltar later this month. He also explained that the MoU concerning citizens' rights has been working very well.

He also said he is "pleased and gratified" that the relationship between Spain and Gibraltar has matured and that during the coronavirus crisis he was able to speak directly with Spanish ministers and public health.