Business wants more Brexit clarity, GFSB says
Businesses need more feedback as to where the Gibraltar Government is heading in its Brexit negotiations, the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses Chairwoman, Gemma Vasquez, has said.
Mrs Vasquez explained that she was not asking for a “blow-by-blow account” of the Brexit negotiation process but said it was “fair enough” that businesses are given a “general overview” of where Gibraltar is headed.
She was speaking at the GFSB’s Annual General Meeting in which she also announced her resignation from the trade association.
She will step down from her role as Chairwoman on May 1 and will be succeeded by Julian Byrne, currently GFSB Vice-Chairman.
GFSB Treasurer Alfredo Vasquez has also stood down from the Board and has been replaced by Daniel Delgado.
The meeting, which was held on Thursday evening, covered a wide range of subject matter but largely focused on Brexit.
Mrs Vasquez, who headed the Gibraltar Stronger In Europe campaign in the lead up to last year’s referendum, said: “Brexit is very important to Gibraltar and the Government’s Brexit policy is very important to business.”
“Businesses need to know in what direction we are heading, businesses need to have more feedback if possible on where the Government is heading with its Brexit negotiations,” she told members.
“I understand that Government is unable to give us a blow-by-blow account of where we are going with Brexit.”
“However, I do think that some guidance is necessary,” Mrs Vasquez said.
Nonetheless, she announced that the Attorney General, Michael Llamas, will address members at the Association’s annual dinner about the direction Brexit is taking.
“We need to know where we are going,” she stated flagging the often mooted free trade agreement between Gibraltar and the UK.
“We need to know what is happening with that, are you able to encourage your clients to stay in Gibraltar because of this common market? If most of your clients are UK business facing, then you need to know that that is going to continue because you need the certainty as businesses to be able to continue encouraging people to come and invest in Gibraltar.”
“I think it is fair enough that we ask for that,” she added.