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Government to publish Command Paper on EU Withdrawal Bill

The Gibraltar Government has published a Command Paper on a draft Bill to provide for Gibraltar’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The Bill will be presented to Parliament by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia.

There will be a period for representations to be made until December 13, 2018 following which the Government will review the comments and publish a Bill.

The main purpose of the Bill is to provide a functioning statute book on the day the United Kingdom and Gibraltar leave the European Union.

Indeed, as a general rule the same rules and laws will apply the day after exit day as on the day before.

Gibraltar’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill performs three main functions.

These include repealing the European Communities Act on the day that the United Kingdom and Gibraltar leave the European Union.

This will end the supremacy of EU law in Gibraltar, No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

In the same way as in the United Kingdom, the Bill will convert the body of EU law at the moment of exit into the domestic law of Gibraltar.

The proposed legislation will also preserve laws made in Gibraltar to implement EU obligations.

Additionally, in order to ensure that Gibraltar’s domestic legislation continues to function correctly outside the EU, there is a power to make subsidiary legislation to enable amendments to be made to local laws that would otherwise no longer operate properly once Gibraltar has left the European Union.

Commenting on the issue of the Command Paper, Dr Garcia said: “This Bill follows on from the Referendum held in the United Kingdom and in Gibraltar in June 2016. Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly by 96% to remain in the European Union.”

“The majority overall vote was nonetheless a vote to leave. The Government has been closely engaged, together with the United Kingdom, in negotiations covering our EU exit. Those negotiations were closed over the weekend.”

“The United Kingdom’s own European Union (Withdrawal) Act was passed by the UK Parliament in June this year. We must now put in place the legal framework to do the same in Gibraltar and take account of our coming EU departure in March 2019.”

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