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Parliament passes two Bills linked to Brexit

The Gibraltar Parliament yesterday unanimously passed legislation to assist Gibraltar’s preparedness for Brexit.

The House passed two Bills during a brief meeting yesterday morning before adjourning until September 17.

These included an amendment to the Companies Act which would provide flexibility and also open up new structuring opportunities for overseas companies that have a presence in Gibraltar.

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said the amendments are considered particularly helpful in the context of Brexit where firms are restructuring to enable themselves to continue operating in the EU from other jurisdictions whilst maintaining a “real” presence in Gibraltar serving non-EU markets from a Gibraltar branch.

The second Bill allows certain international agreements that prior to leaving the European Union applied to Gibraltar, and which the United Kingdom has or is in the process of replacing with new agreements.

The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia told the House that was a contingency measure in the face of a no-deal Brexit.

He added that there was now a “strong likelihood” that Gibraltar and the UK may leave the EU on October 31 without a deal.

In a parallel development, the UK Government published two regulations that are intended to ensure that Gibraltar-based financial services firms continue to have access into UK markets, once the UK leaves the EU, in a no-deal scenario.

In March 2018, at the Joint Ministerial Council with the Government of Gibraltar, the UK Government announced that Gibraltar's authorised financial services firms will continue to be able to access the UK as now until 2020 in a no-deal scenario.

UK firms will also continue to be able to exercise their passport rights as now in Gibraltar.

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