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Opinion & Analysis

The Post-Brexit Economy

By Sir Joe Bossano
After the referendum vote, it was clear that the EU’s approach was to make UK’S departure as unattractive as possible, probably to encourage them to stay. On top of this Spain saw this as the best opportunity in 300 years to get us to accept a joint sovereignty deal.

The key to both the EU/UK and the Spain/Gibraltar positions was economic pressure.

Is the UK going to be poorer or richer, in or out?

Are we prepared in Gibraltar to pay a sovereignty price because our prosperity is EU driven?

Given this analysis, the obvious strategy is to look for an alternative economic structure, so whilst my colleagues have been engaged in Brexit preparations in the areas where they have departmental responsibility, I have been concentrating on the economy.

I have been putting together what we need to have in place once to protect what we have today.

It will not be easy.

But at least we have a plan ready to be put into effect the day after we are sworn into government if we get your vote.

The approach is similar to what I did as Chief Minister to reposition the economy between 1988 and 1992 when we created the foundations on which our economy was built in those years and which has endured and provided sustained growth ever since.

As in 1988, a great deal of preparatory work has already taken place, so that we’re ready from day one.

The post Brexit National Economic Plan for four years assumes that the UK and the EU are in recession at the start of the process and then targets what is, for us, low growth of 2.5% in the first two years, doubling to 5% in the next two. A total of 15% over the four years.

Our current expectation is that GDP for this year is just under £1.6bn, which compares favourably to our 2-15 election projections of £1.4bn to £1.5bn.

If our new economic plan works very well, it is quite possible that my target for the year ending March 2024 will be exceeded.

Ours is a worst-case scenario plan, i.e., it presumes a No Deal Brexit either this month or in 2021, post a transition period. In that context we project 4-year growth in the order of £390 million pounds which would bring GDP up to a record £3bn.

Tough, but not impossible when you think that the rest of Europe and the UK could well be on zero growth or even shrinking, depending on how bad the recession gets.

What is clear, is that trading outside the European Union requires us to have an economic strategy to deal with the situation and pursue new opportunities. We have to get it right. If we don’t, nothing in any manifesto, of any party, is achievable.

On 17th October, vote for all TEN GSLP/Liberal candidates. We won’t let you down! I won’t let you down!