The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia completed a busy schedule of different engagements at ministerial level in London yesterday. These were all related to our departure from the European Union and set the scene for the future UK-Gibraltar relationship.
They were accompanied throughout by the Attorney General Michael Llamas and Financial Secretary Albert Mena.
It will be recalled that the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council last month was postponed given the intensity of work in the run-up to the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement. The meeting with different UK Ministers yesterday follows on from the discussions that would have happened then.
The Gibraltar delegation met with Europe Minister Sir Alan Duncan MP, with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union Robin Walker MP and with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP.
The Chief Minister made the point that, in respect of Gibraltar, the Agreement that had been concluded was better than the potential uncertainty that a no-deal scenario might generate. The Deputy Chief Minister then updated the meeting on UK-Gibraltar Brexit contingency planning and on Gibraltar’s EU Withdrawal Bill.
Given that the technical agreement on Withdrawal was concluded 13th November, there has been considerable press interest and the Chief Minister was interviewed on leaving the meeting.
The Chief Minister said:
“The process of a Joint Ministerial Council between the UK and Gibraltar Governments on Brexit has worked very well. The UK, both at Ministerial and at an official level, has understood our concerns and our issues very well and this has been reflected in the outcome we have achieved and in our full and detailed involvement in all Brexit matters related to Gibraltar.”