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Bossano bullish on Rock’s post-Brexit future

The process of leaving the EU is unlikely to impact directly on Gibraltar’s economy for at least two financial years, Joe Bossano told Parliament as he urged the community to remain positive about the future.

In a budget speech, the Minister for Economic Development, Telecommunications and the Gibraltar Savings Bank said Gibraltar’s economic model and its workforce would successfully adapt in response to the challenges ahead.

But he said it was too soon to know what shape those challenges would take because the UK was in no rush to activate Article 50 of the EU treaty, which would start the two-year period of negotiations leading to withdrawal.

“The position therefore is that the projection we make assumes that, in this financial year and the next, we shall still be full members of the European Union and have an increasingly clear notion of what our relationship with the single market is likely to be in 2018,” he said.

“The direct impact of any changes is likely to be relevant for the 2019/20 budget and we are sticking with the results predicted for the growth of our economy and the public finances for up to this date, spelt out in the economic plan for Gibraltar published in the manifesto.”

Mr Bossano nevertheless said that if public finances performed better than projected, any extra money should be placed into ‘rainy day funds’ given that the global economy was entering a period of change and uncertainty “with no near end in sight”.

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