Davis comments show ‘failure’ of Gibraltar Government’s ‘peculiar and unique’ Brexit strategy, GSD says
The GSD has described recent comments by UK Brexit Minister David Davis as “disappointing but not unexpected”, adding that the Gibraltar Government’s strategy of pursuing “peculiar and unique” solutions to Brexit “has failed”.
Mr Davis last week told a House of Commons select committee last week that he would be “loath” to seek a special agreement for Gibraltar or Northern Ireland in a Brexit negotiation.
But he did not rule out such agreement and also acknowledged the fact that Gibraltar had a “differentiated status” within the EU to that of the UK.
In analysing the statements, the GSD said it was never likely that the UK Government would further complicate an already very complex situation, a process which some are now saying could take ten years to complete, by seeking different terms for Gibraltar.
“This is why the GSD have consistently said it is important that we keep Gibraltar’s objectives simple and aligned where possible with those of the UK by ensuring our full inclusion in those agreements made by the UK both with the EU and beyond the EU,” the Opposition said in a statement.
The most difficult challenge for Gibraltar is likely to be ensuring that the frontier is a free-flowing as possible, the GSD added, noting that this is at odds with what the UK Government has indicated it wants for its own borders.
“This should be the one area where we challenge and lobby for an alternate arrangement which takes into account our location,” the GSD said.
The Opposition also blasted the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, for suggesting that his statement to the House of Lords and the comments made by Mr Davis are aligned.
To do so, the GSD said, “is to show how out of touch with the reality of the situation he has become” and how he is “still intent on pulling the wool over the eyes of our community”.
“His Government's policy of pursuing peculiar and unique solutions for Gibraltar, all the while seeking publicity at every turn has failed, and has done our community a terrible disservice,” the GSD said.
“Instead of seeking to work behind the scenes in an intelligent and diplomatic way he has been as loud as it is possible to be and the words of Mr Davis are clearly designed as a slap in the face to rein him in.”
Trevor Hammond, GSD spokesman for Europe, added: “Despite these setbacks there is of course still time to achieve a satisfactory outcome for Gibraltar from the Brexit negotiations and we call on Government to stop pursuing ideas that are clearly not going to be acceptable to the UK and get down to finding realistic solutions for the potential problems our community will face.”