Gibraltar needs clarity from UK on Brexit, Lords told
Gibraltar needs a “clearer steer” as to where it sits in the British Government’s Brexit plans, academics have told the House of Lords’ EU Select Committee’s inquiry into the implications of EU withdrawal for the Rock.
While Brexit uncertainty is presents challenges for the UK as a whole, Gibraltar’s unique circumstances including its border with Spain further underscored the need for clarity in the weeks ahead, the academics said.
In its second sitting, focusing on the Rock’s economy, the Committee heard evidence from Professor John Fletcher, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Bournemouth University, and Dr Chris Grocott, Lecturer in Management and Economic History at Leicester University.
The Committee also expected to hear evidence from Sir Graham Watson but he was unable to attend for personal reasons.
“The only way in which the Gibraltar economy is going to remain successful is if there is some indication publically as to what the [British] Government’s plans are in relation to Gibraltar,” Dr Grocott said, as he called for a ‘clearer steer’ as to what will be going on in the future.
With regards to uncertainty, Professor Fletcher said there was a “compounding of problems”.
“When we look at the uncertainty in the UK because of Brexit, then if businesses are uncertain then you tend to hold back on investment and it does have a long-term effect,” he told the Committee.
But, he said, what Gibraltar faces is the uncertainty of Brexit coupled with the uncertainty of where it is going to stand in terms of the frontier with Spain.
“That does bring additional challenges,” he explained.
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