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Impact of Brexit on La Linea under scrutiny

The effects of Brexit in La Línea will be discussed in a meeting held today between Mayor Juan Franco and Madrid’s representative in Cádiz, José Pacheco.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Franco met with the vice-president of the Cross Frontier Group Lorenzo Pérez-Periáñez to discuss the group’s concerns for La Línea.

A statement from the Mayor’s office said some of the suggestions discussed by the two men were a reduced tax regime for businesses setting up in La Línea and the lack of adequate Customs facilities at the border.

The mayor suggested a meeting with the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce to speak about Gibraltarian businesses opening up in La Línea.

In the event of a “no-deal” Brexit scenario, both men hope the practical agreements reached after negotiations between Gibraltar, the UK and Spain will endure even if the Withdrawal Agreement does not prosper.

Mr Pérez-Periáñez told the Chronicle this is a top priority for the group with representatives from both sides of the border.

He said: “If this is not put firmly in place, it could lead to disorder and chaos at the frontier.”

La Línea is already “suffering the effects of Brexit”, Mr Pérez-Periáñez said, and he is concerned that if firms were to leave Gibraltar, it will have an impact on those workers living in Spain.

“A drop in the value of sterling has meant less people are spending money in the shops and restaurants,” he said.

“Spanish workers working in Gibraltar are earning less than they used to and it makes them more hesitant to spend if they do not have to.”

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