Garcia keeps Gibraltar on Westminster’s Brexit agenda
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia briefed UK ministers and opposition MPs on Gibraltar’s concerns about aviation and the border against the backdrop of Brexit.
The meetings were the latest round of discussions in an ongoing Gibraltar Government initiative to ensure Gibraltar is kept on the Westminster radar as the UK embarks on the process of Brexit.
“I took advantage of the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee on Brexit to arrange other meetings in London at the same time,” Dr Garcia said.
“There is considerable sympathy and support for Gibraltar among UK ministers and among Members of Parliament of all political colours.”
“This will be very useful going forward as the discussions progress.”
“The Government intends to continue with this information campaign in order to ensure that its point of view reaches as wide a cross-section of MPs as possible.”
In back-to-back meeting in London, Dr Garcia discussed aviation issues with the new UK minister responsible for aviation at the Department for Transport, Lord Callanan, explaining the historical background to the problems created for Gibraltar in the field of civil aviation in the European Union.
“He outlined the importance of the United Kingdom Government maintaining its red lines in this area and explained the policy of the Gibraltar Government going forward,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.
“Dr Garcia made the point that 2016 had been a record year for Gibraltar Airport in terms of passenger numbers and said that it was important to protect the position in the future.”
The meeting took place in the presence of Robin Walker, the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union, who is leading for the UK Government on Gibraltar-related Brexit matters.
The Deputy Chief Minister also discussed border issues with the new UK Minister of State for Immigration, Brandon Lewis.
He explained the importance of a frictionless frontier to Gibraltar post-Brexit and highlighted that this was significant in respect of residents on both sides of the border, frontier-workers and tourists.
Dr Garcia outlined a number of potential solutions which the Gibraltar Government had looked at in this respect.
The Deputy Chief Minister was then able to brief the Shadow Minister for Europe, Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, on the challenges that Gibraltar faces as it prepares to leave the European Union together with the United Kingdom.
He again went over the border issues and outlined the importance of access to the UK market, among other matters.