Labour MEP Moody on Rock Brexit recce
Labour MEP for Southwest England and Gibraltar Clare Moody visited the Rock yesterday in a bid to understand what will be at stake for Gibraltar throughout Brexit negotiations.
Speaking at a press conference alongside Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Ms Moody said she wanted to gather the voices and views of Gibraltarians and return their sentiments to Brussels.
After spending the morning touring the border she met with the GSD, independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon, Unite the Union, the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
She also attended a lunch hosted by the Minister for Economic Development Joe Bossano and a dinner with the Minister for Education and the Environment, Dr John Cortes.
“Today is about knowing what is at stake, first hand from the people who are going to have to work through the consequences of whatever outcome there is of the various agreements that we have to deal with down the line,” Ms Moody said.
Mr Picardo noted her work on the European Parliament negotiating guidelines with Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and Gibraltar House in Brussels so the guidelines better reflected the interests of Gibraltar.
“In particular I would like to thank Clare for what she has done working on the European Parliament negotiating guidelines where you have all seen the position in relation to bilateralism is much more elegantly set out than in the attempted land grab we have seen by Spain,” Mr Picardo said.
He added Gibraltar has economically fared well since the referendum result despite previously backing the contrary.
“I advocated with all the former Chief Ministers of Gibraltar and all the former members of Parliament in Gibraltar that we should vote to remain in the EU because that was the only economically sound thing to do,” he said.
“Since we have left the EU Gibraltar has licensed more financial services companies and more online gaming companies who have come to Gibraltar seeking licencing after the result of the referendum than before.”
The Labour MEP told reporters any future deal that is struck “should be no worse than the deal that we have now” and firmly believes a Labour government would approach negotiations differently if elected on June 8.
“I campaigned very hard for remain all the way up the referendum result last year,” Ms Moody said.
“But it is really important for me now as the delicate negotiations continue, and sometimes less than delicate on occasions as we saw for example for Clause 24, that I get the voices and views of people in Gibraltar.”
She added: “Let’s not forget that underneath all of these negotiations is the issue of self-determination.”
“It is very clear what the will of the people of Gibraltar is and the Spanish government as part of the European Union should be respecting human rights.”
“We have a relationship built in the 21st century in political power games of years gone by.”
She hopes if the Labour party is elected into government this will give her the opportunity “to put the voice of Gibraltar back in Westminster as well as in Brussels.”