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UK relationship ‘more critical’ to Rock than EU single market - Isola

Gibraltar’s “extremely strong” relationship with the United Kingdom is more important than access to the EU single market, Minister for Financial Services and Gaming Albert Isola said yesterday.

Mr Isola was speaking as part of a television interview with Bloomberg Surveillance from Geneva, where he recently hosted the 2016 Gibraltar Day in Geneva Financial Services Breakfast.

Asked what a ‘hard Brexit’ would mean for Gibraltar, Mr Isola replied that the bulk of the work of Gibraltar’s private sector is “UK-centric and UK-focused”.

“The relationship we have with the United Kingdom Government is extremely strong and is more critical to us than the EU access,” Mr Isola explained.

“I believe that the relationship we enjoy with the UK will see us through the challenges we will face,” he added.

Mr Isola was also questioned on how likely it is for Gibraltar to retain access to the single market as well as scenarios such as a Gibraltar-London-EU trade deal.

“I think what the UK will not do is sacrifice single market access for freedom of movement. I believe that the controls that the UK wants, they’re serious about, and we will see how this pans out.”

“As far as we are concerned the impact on Gibraltar as a business friendly jurisdiction is the UK market access, which we know we will be able to continue with, so that’s important for us.”

On reassurances from the UK Government over Gibraltar’s sovereignty, Mr Isola said: “There’s absolutely no change and no question, we have made it very clear and our Chief Minister has said ‘No means no’ in relation to suggestions from Spain that joint sovereignty could be a possibility in exchange for a deal on Europe.”

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