Lllamas briefs GFSB on Brexit
Attorney General Michael Llamas, QC, told local entrepreneurs he is ‘cautiously confident’ Gibraltar will be successful in Brexit negotiations.
He said this during an address about the ‘Implications of Brexit in Gibraltar, with a particular focus on business’ as the guest speaker at the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses annual dinner.
His address time lined the past nine months since the EU referendum and the pivotal nature of trade deals following exit negotiations.
“I can guarantee you all that no stone has been left unturned,” Mr Llamas said.
“The government is ready for the next phase of Brexit and we are cautiously confident we will make a success out of it.”
He added: “I would say two essential things have happened. First of all the Gibraltar Government has developed its strategy, at least its strategy for this juncture with the negotiations and the knowledge that this is going to be long-drawn and secondly we have been engaged in a very intensive lobbying campaign.”
According to Mr Llamas the strategy consists of five strands: the border issues, Gibraltar’s trading relationship with UK, trade agreements the UK will enter into with third countries, seek status quo in relation to trade in goods, and lastly seek to be part of the UK deal in respect to access to the EU market.
The event at the Rock Hotel Khaima will be the last annual dinner held by outgoing Chair Gemma Vasquez, who has held the position for six years.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo took to the stage to commend Mrs Vasquez for all her work as both Chair of the GFSB and as leader of the local ‘Stronger In Europe’ campaign.
Mrs Vasquez thanked the GFSB board and highlighted recent efforts to change the process of business licencing.
“I have argued with warmth and passion a one stop shop offering start-ups advice rather than bombarding them with paperwork and unnecessary committee meetings,” Mrs Vasquez said.
“I hope that one of my legacies is to do away with some of this paperwork. I am able to announce that we have been involved with Minister Isola to review the Fair Trading Act, in particular the Business Licencing Authority.”
“We have said on many occasions this one is not working. Anyone who has appeared before it in this room would be able to confirm the same to you. You cannot have 10 individuals sitting opposite to gage the value of your business. In a time when we should be welcoming businesses with open arms to Gibraltar.”