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Brexit abyss gives Gibraltar sharp vision of future, Picardo says

In the second of a two-part interview, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo reflects on Brexit and the economy

Gibraltar has been forced to “stare into the abyss” of Brexit, but as a result has fashioned “a clearer and sharper vision” of its future, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said.

Speaking to the Chronicle as he prepared to take a short break with his family after months of relentless work and travel, Mr Picardo said Brexit had enabled Gibraltar to understand the scale and nature of its commercial relationship with the UK.

The focus of his government’s Brexit work now was to develop and strengthen that commercial relationship in tandem with the UK Government.

"Perhaps we were languishing when we were not considering these issues, because the European Union was developing and we couldn't from Gibraltar have a clear vision of where Europe would take us by 2030,” he said.

"But we have been forced to stare into the abyss of what the precipice might look like after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and it's been my obligation to do that."

"My team and I have been to the cliff edge and we've looked at what that meant for Gibraltar and we've planned for what that meant and we've identified, with the help of business generally in Gibraltar, every potential pitfall.”

“We’ve had to get better at looking at where we need to be and where we don't want to be, what we want to design for ourselves and what we won't allow ourselves to be dragged to.”

Mr Picardo said “the shock” of the June 23 referendum result had focused minds and encouraged businesses here to share information confidentially that enabled the government to map out in detail where the risks and opportunities lay.

Having identified the importance of the UK market and secured a commitment from the UK Government to maintain and build on that access, the work now is focused on the technical detail.


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