The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was received this morning by the President of the Junta de Andalucia Susana Diaz in the Palacio de San Telmo, which is the official seat of the regional government. This was the first time a Gibraltar Chief Minister was received by a Junta President in the seat of the Andalucian executive.
The Gibraltar delegation included the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, who is responsible for work related to Brexit, and the Attorney General Michael Llamas. The Vice President of the Junta de Andalucia Manuel Jimenez Barrios was also present.
The bilateral meeting between both Governments was positive and constructive and centred on their respective areas of competence. There was a determination on both sides to make sure that residents and workers are no worse off as a consequence of the UK and Gibraltar leaving the European Union.
The Chief Minister explained that the latest figures available to Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar showed that there were now over 13,000 people who lived in Spain and worked in Gibraltar. Many of these jobs depended on the continued fluid flow of tourists through the land frontier between Gibraltar and Spain. He also referred to the fact that, as at 2013 (now five years ago) the Chamber of Commerce economic study showed Gibraltar businesses purchased 450 million euros from Spanish suppliers, mainly in Andalucia, and that it was estimated that Gibraltar residents spent some 80 million euros in the surrounding Spanish region.
The two sides agreed to work together in order to ensure that Brexit, despite it not being the choice of the people of Gibraltar, generated opportunities for shared prosperity for all.
The Chief Minister said: “This historic first contact at San Telmo has been a positive and constructive one. I believe it is a precursor to potentially working together to ensure the continued economic well-being of the people we each represent and in respect of those areas in which both governments have relevant competence.”