Expert comment UK Government must end uncertainty for Gibraltars people after Brexit
University of Leicester academic, Dr Chris Grocott, has called on the Government to provide certainty on their plans for Gibraltar following Brexit.
Dr Grocott, from the University’s School of Business, gave evidence to the House of Lords EU Select Committee and their Report was published on 1 March.
Dr Grocott argued that a public declaration of the UK’s plans in relation to Brexit and Gibraltar would help to provide more certainty for Gibraltar’s people, and for businesses looking to invest in the territory.
In the evidence Dr Grocott provided to the Committee, he said: “The only way in which the Gibraltar economy will remain successful is if there is some indication publicly of the Government’s plans in relation to Gibraltar.
“Gibraltar needs some firm steers as to what will be available to it if it is to plan its economy during the two years from Article 50.”
Of all the British Overseas Territories, only Gibraltar is part of the EU and was therefore eligible to take part in the referendum of June 2016.
95.9% of votes cast in Gibraltar were for the UK to stay in the EU, by far the strongest vote for 'remain' of any area eligible to participate in the referendum. Yet the territory is now set to leave the EU along with the UK, and faces significant challenges as a result.
The Committee concluded that any loss of access to the Single Market in services, or to its cross-border workforce, could significantly harm Gibraltar's economy.
They therefore found that the UK Government had a moral responsibility to ensure Gibraltar's voice is heard, and its interests respected, throughout the negotiations.