Government considers all Brexit options, including plans for no agreement

Government considers all Brexit options, including plans for no agreement

The Government continues to plan for all eventualities as negotiations continue to define a future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union before the transitional period comes to an end on 31 December. In this context, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia held a meeting of the Brexit Strategic Group late last week in order to provide added impetus to plans for no agreement between the parties.


It is important to make the point that this does not mean that there will be no agreement. It simply means that the Government has a duty to prepare for different possible outcomes and that this is one of them. Indeed, the Government is confident that a good economic partnership can be agreed that will greatly benefit Gibraltar in the context of our involuntary departure from the EU and that such a partnership can produce an area of shared prosperity for the whole of the region around Gibraltar also.

Separate work-streams, running in parallel to each other, have continued to operate over the last few years, even through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

*First, this work covers the commitments entered into in relation to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, the Gibraltar Protocol and the accompanying MoUs. This framework ensured the orderly departure of Gibraltar from the European Union and our inclusion in the transition.

*Second, there is ongoing work between the Gibraltar and United Kingdom Government in relation to the Future Relationship with the European Union in the context of the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and other side agreements.

*Third, there is a work-stream which concentrates on future trade deals which the UK is negotiating with non-EU countries.

*Fourth, there is work on an ambitious future relationship between Gibraltar and the European Union, including with our nearest EU neighbour Spain.

The first formal round of discussions between Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and Spain took place in Malaga on 9 June in a positive and constructive atmosphere. This team is headed by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and includes the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, the Attorney General Michael Llamas and the Financial Secretary Albert Mena. It will be recalled that the Chief Minister subsequently met the Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya in Algeciras on 23 July during her Brexit-related visit to the Campo area.

A fifth stream of work is no-deal planning, which was the basis of the meeting last week. This reviewed the output from the Brexit Executive Group, which included all the different specialist resilience groups tasked with specific topic areas and which is normally chaired by the Chief Secretary.