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CM says negotiators working 'relentlessly' toward treaty

Archive image of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said work on a UK/EU treaty for Gibraltar continued “relentlessly” and that he remained “very confident” that a “safe and secure” agreement could be reached.

Mr Picardo was speaking after the UK Minister for Europe, James Cleverly, told MPs on the Commons European Scrutiny Committee that “the ingredients are in place” for a deal.

Mr Picardo said the Gibraltar Government “warmly welcomes” Mr Cleverly’s words to MPs on Thursday.

“I have known James Cleverley for many years, even before he was Minister for Europe,” he said.

“We have a very good relationship and his statements before the European Scrutiny Committee are only the latest demonstration of the strength of our personal and political relationship.”

“I am very confident that, continuing to work as closely together as we have with the United Kingdom throughout this period of negotiation, we will be able to achieve a treaty that is safe and secure for Gibraltar in all aspects and respects and which will deliver enhanced prosperity for Gibraltar and shared prosperity across the shores of our magnificent bay.”

“The work continues relentlessly in the negotiation to find final agreement, the positive fruits of which I hope will soon be a matter on which we will be free to make a fuller statement on.”

The Gibraltar Government welcomed Mr Cleverly’s optimism that the negotiations were “developing positively” and that the parties shared a “forward-looking” approach to the discussions.

It said it shared those sentiments, describing them as “…an accurate reflection of a negotiation that is progressing well in addressing complex and difficult issues that have defied agreement in the past, and despite external pressures.”

“The Government also welcomes the unambiguous nature of the commitment by the United Kingdom Government, expressed yesterday through the Minister for Europe himself, to the integrity of Gibraltar and consequently to the British sovereignty of Gibraltar, which is a sine qua non of the strength of the relationship between the Government of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom Government and not a matter for negotiation with any external party,” it added.

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