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EU ‘too important’ for any vote but ‘In’ - Picardo

A border closure as a result of Brexit would be “a disaster” for Gibraltar and the surrounding region, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said yesterday as he warned that the issue was “too important” to contemplate anything other than remaining in Europe.

Writing in the Times’ Thunderer column, Mr Picardo warned that Spain would seek to exploit a UK withdrawal from the EU and that Gibraltar expected Britain to stand up for its democratic rights.

thunderer

The Chief Minister said free movement of people, services and goods were “critical” to Gibraltar and were guaranteed by the EU.

“Fluidity at the border with Spain is a lifeline for people and commerce, not just for Gibraltarians but also for 7,000 Spanish workers and many businessmen on both sides of the fence,” he wrote.

“It would be a disaster if the border were closed.”

His column came two days after Spain’s acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, told a Spanish newspaper that Gibraltar could remain in the EU in the event of Brexit by agreeing to "transitional" joint sovereignty between Spain and the UK.

The Spanish minister’s comments will be seen as further evidence that Spain’s Partido Popular would seek to capitalise on a UK withdrawal from the EU by trying to advance its sovereignty claim over the Rock.

FULL STORY IN TODAY'S PRINT AND E-EDITIONS