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UK and Gibraltar work for Brexit deal that ‘fully recognises Rock’s priorities’

The UK said yesterday it continued to work with Gibraltar towards a Brexit deal that “fully recognises the priorities of the Rock”.

The Department for Exiting the European Union made the statement after the seventh meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar Governments, which took place
in London at the Cabinet Office yesterday morning.

The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo led the Gibraltar team which included the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, the Attorney General Michael Llamas, the Financial Secretary Albert Mena and UK Representative Dominique Searle.

Mr Picardo described the meeting as “very helpful” with “very positive progress for Gibraltar as a result”.

The meeting was held against a backdrop of growing disagreement with Britain’s decision to quit the European Union amongst voters.

A YouGov survey found 47% of voters thought the decision to leave was wrong, against just 40% who said it was the right thing to do - the widest margin since the weekly survey began two years ago.

Yesterday’s meeting was chaired by Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the EU Robin Walker and included Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan.

A number of different UK Government Departments reported back on the activities of the working groups.

This included the Department for EU Exit, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Treasury, BEIS, Transport, Education, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, DEFRA and Health.

According to the Gibraltar Government, this reflects the close working relationship between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar Governments and the high degree of interaction between the two.

Mr Picardo and Dr Garcia then had the opportunity to meet separately with Sir Alan and held a number of other meetings before returning to Gibraltar today.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Picardo said: “It’s now two years since the UK voted to leave the European Union, the work that we’ve done since then demonstrates that Gibraltar is fully involved in the decision making inside the UK Government of how the negotiations are being run for the whole of the UK and all of the British family of nations, including Gibraltar.”

Following the meeting Mr Walker said: “It was a pleasure meeting with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and his team today for the seventh JMC GEN meeting.”

“We spoke at length about the key issues facing both the UK and Gibraltar as we leave the EU and reaffirmed the continued commitment of the UK Government to represent the best interests of the entire UK family, including our friends in Gibraltar.”

“We look forward to continuing our constructive partnership over the coming months, years and beyond.”

Mr Picardo added: “It is a genuine pleasure to continue working with Robin Walker on the Brexit issues that he has responsibility for at the Department for Exiting the European Union and which are
relevant to Gibraltar.”

“Through DExEU we are engaging with the whole of Whitehall on matters which will have a positive impact in Gibraltar in coming years and which affect all parts of our economic activity as we prepare to leave the European Union with the United Kingdom next March.”

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