Cleverly says UK commitment to treaty ‘as strong as ever’ after meeting with CM
The UK’s commitment to Gibraltar and a treaty for its post-Brexit future remains “as strong as ever”, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Tuesday, as he insisted a deal could “unleash economic growth” on both side of the border.
And against the backdrop of ongoing talks with the EU and exchanges of proposals, the Foreign Secretary underlined too the need to respect the balance achieved in the New Year’s Eve framework agreement underpinning the negotiation.
Mr Cleverly was speaking after meeting Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia in London. The Gibraltar ministers were accompanied by Attorney General Michael Llamas.
Mr Cleverly and Mr Picardo reiterated their shared commitment to work intensively to conclude UK-EU negotiations in respect of Gibraltar “as soon as possible”, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a statement.
It added that a treaty would provide certainty for those living and working in Gibraltar and in neighbouring communities, and secure future prosperity for the whole region.
“The UK’s commitment to Gibraltar remains as strong as ever,” Mr Cleverly said.
“We continue to work side-by-side to conclude an EU treaty as soon as possible.”
“Throughout the negotiations we have presented proposals that maintain the careful balance of the December 2020 Political Framework and could unleash economic growth for everyone in the region.”
The two ministers underlined the need to respect “the balance” achieved by the December 2020 Political Framework, the FCDO said in the statement.
And it said the UK and the EU “continue to exchange proposals and work constructively towards an agreement”.
“The Ministers, while committed to the successful conclusion of negotiations, agreed to continue preparations to ensure robust plans are in place for all eventualities, including a no-negotiated outcome,” the FCDO statement added.
“The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed that the UK remains steadfast in its support for Gibraltar and will not agree to anything that compromises UK sovereignty.”
The Chief Minister added: “I was delighted to have met with the Foreign Secretary once again in order to take stock of the negotiations.”
“James Cleverly is a long-standing friend of Gibraltar and we can rest assured of his support as the negotiations enter their final stretch.”