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With a nervous eye on Brexit, La Linea strengthens links to Gibraltar

A UK exit from the European Union “doesn’t bear thinking about” and would hit La Linea hard, the mayor of the Spanish city said during an official visit to Gibraltar yesterday.

Juan Franco said he was closely following developments in the run-up to the UK’s referendum on EU membership, particularly after the UK warned last week that there was no guarantee the border would remain open in the event of a Brexit.

“When Gibraltar sneezes, La Linea catches a cold,” Sr Franco said.

“So if Gibraltar catches pneumonia, things could get quite complicated.”

“In that sense, I don't even want to dwell on the prospect of Brexit.”

“It’s something I can't get involved in even as a voter, so all I can do is hope that whatever happens is the best for all us.”

Sr Franco was speaking after meeting Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia during his second official visit to the Rock.

Mr Picardo echoed the mayor's sentiments and said Sr Franco had captured in a simple, understandable way both the “symbiosis” between Gibraltar and La Linea and the “precipice” that Brexit could represent.

FULL STORY IN TODAY'S PRINT AND E-EDITIONS