Gibraltar says it can implement Brexit selectively

Several cars wait in a queue to enter in Gibraltar (background) in a photo taken from La Linea de la Concepcion, Cadiz, southern Spain, 24 June 2016. one day after the Brexit referendum [A. Carrasco Ragel/EPA]

Gibraltar can choose elements of any Brexit deal Britain agrees with the European Union and avoid those it considers detrimental, the chief minister of the British territory has said.

Fabian Picardo told the British newspaper The Independent that Gibraltar’s constitution allowed it to decide which parts of an agreement with the European Union it would keep.

Gibraltar wants special arrangement in Brexit treaty

Although Article 50, launching the Brexit procedure, is yet to be triggered, Gibraltar has already embarked on an effort to convince the EU that the territory needs a special arrangement in the EU-UK divorce deal.

“We will be able to determine whether aspects of what is agreed will be implemented in Gibraltar or not,” Picardo said. “It is clear that we do have a Brexit veto for Gibraltar, in Gibraltar.”

No one from Britain’s Brexit department was immediately available for comment.

In a speech in Brussels, Gibraltar’s deputy chief minister, Joseph Garcia, said that the territory should not be a “whipping boy” made to suffer the consequences of Brexit and that Spain might prevent current conditions applying in a transition period after Brexit.

He also emphasised the need to preserve movement of people across the border with Spain. Some 13,000 people living in Spain, including 8,000 Spaniards, cross the Spain-Gibraltar border to work each day.

Gibraltar traffic jams as Brexit row heats up

Gibraltar yesterday (5 April) accused Spain of causing long traffic jams with tightened border controls, saying it was “clearly a response” to rising political tensions over the British territory.

Garcia said Spain had used the border as a political weapon, with intensive checks, and that the Commission had intervened to smooth crossings. He added that Gibraltar risked not being protected by EU law after Brexit.

EU-27 hands Spain veto over Gibraltar’s Brexit deal

Spain is likely to wield a veto over any Brexit deal for Gibraltar after the EU-27 backed Madrid in its draft negotiating guidelines for forthcoming divorce talks between the UK and the bloc.

As Britain negotiates a new trading deal with the EU, there are deep splits across the country about what sort of agreement should be sought with the bloc.

An analysis compiled by British officials that was leaked on Monday suggested that Britain would be worse off under three Brexit scenarios considered.

Leaked British government analysis says UK to be worse off outside EU

A confidential analysis by the British government on the impact of Brexit suggests all UK industries will be hurt by leaving the European Union, BuzzFeed News reported on Monday.

Gibraltar, which Spain ceded to Britain in 1713 but wants back, voted 96 percent in favour of staying in the EU in the 2016 referendum. Picardo said the enclave had autonomy in some areas including those relating to business and social care, meaning it could set different tariffs in some sectors.

The UK says it will seek a one-size-fits-all trade agreement with the EU which will be applicable to all parts of the UK, despite regional differences.

Gibraltar’s stance reflects other divisions within the United Kingdom. The devolved government in Scotland also wants to retain membership of the EU’s single market and customs union and has tried to further the possibility of a differential deal.

Like Gibraltar, Scotland also voted to keep EU membership.

Brexit could turn Gibraltar into next Falklands, senior conservative claims

Britain is “steadfast” in its commitment to Gibraltar and will work with the territory to secure the best possible outcome from the Brexit talks, Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday (2 April), following warlike comments by a former leader of the ruling Conservative party.

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