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GSD slams Picardo’s ‘utopian’ approach to Brexit

Gibraltar should work hand-in-hand with Britain and not pursue “separatist agendas” that both the UK and the EU have discarded, the GSD said yesterday in a stern assessment of the Gibraltar Government’s response to Brexit.

The Opposition cited the views expressed by Karel Lannoo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for European Studies, who expressed a lukewarm response to a briefing by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo in Brussels this week.

The Chief Minister had argued for Gibraltar to be allowed to have a special arrangement within the EU in the Brexit treaty.

But Mr Lannoo was quoted in a media report saying that “…the views of the Chief Minister were rather utopian, and ... either the UK would keep the four freedoms, or Gibraltar would suffer the consequences.”

“The GSD considers that the time has come to understand and face realities within the uncertainty that exists today,” the Opposition said in a statement last night.

“One such reality is that Gibraltar is in for the Brexit ride with the UK [and] any “Master Plan” that the Government comes up with must be developed with this in mind.”

“The Government should direct its efforts at working hand in hand with the UK Government to achieve the best outcomes for Gibraltar and not pursue separatist agendas that are discarded by both the UK and the EU.”

“The reverse Greenland model which the Chief Minister spent a considerable amount of time talking about is a case in point.”

“It never had any chance of success, but it appeared to be motivated more by the photographs it generated, rather than any sense of realism.”

“Clear thinking is all the more necessary given the huge levels of public spending and debt we have been saddled with over the last few years.”

The Opposition said Brexit presented huge uncertainties but added that as things became clearer and issues developed, the Government must react “in the best interests of Gibraltar.”

The GSD said it would continue to offer its support to the extent that the Government permitted it to do so “…in pursuit of the Government’s stated aim of achieving unity.”