Not positive, says GSD

The UK-Spain Tax Treaty and the other Brexit related UK-Spain Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) do not protect Gibraltar’s British Sovereignty or self-governing status under the 2006 Constitution. The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo’s, persistent defence is based on spin and delusion, yet he continues that mistaken argument publicly, even before the UN Committee of 24, says the GSD. 

The GSD press release was issued late the previous day, almost becoming night owls, and if newspaper deadlines are not met they may not hit the headlines. It appears that some of the GSD mmbers do not put on their political hats until after work. The night owls risk their press releases not being published at all.

According to them, the agreements between the UK and Spain, under the umbrella of the Protocol, are all concessionary that favour Spain, on all issues covered, namely citizens’ rights, the environment, police and customs, taxation and the protection of financial services. The GSD have never and do not support these actions of the GSLP/Liberal Government.

Further, the GSD do not support the position of the GSLP/Liberal Government that the Protocol and MoUs can form a basis for adoption for agreement with Spain should there be a hard Brexit. The Tax Treaty is effective despite the nature of Brexit.

The GSD consider that the Tax Treaty surrenders elements of sovereignty to Spain on matters of taxation; not least that Spanish nationals working in Gibraltar and companies controlled by Spanish nationals or residents that operate in Gibraltar after a stated date, are taxed as if they were in Spain. It will also be a disincentive to economic growth by taxing Gibraltar companies exclusively operating here as if they were operating in Spain if their directors or shareholders reside in Spain.

The concessions, they add, are too fundamental to justify any questionable recognition by Spain of Gibraltarians. If Spain was prepared to recognise Gibraltar, its Government, its people and our rights this would have taken a more obvious form than mentioning Gibraltarians so as to tax them as Spanish residents when they return home. As usual Mr Picardo twists the truth to the point that it is not recognisable anymore.

What more sovereignty concession than a concession on tax? Gibraltar’s elders will recall the mantra “no taxation without representation”. It was the cry of Sir Joshua Hassan’s AACR when the UK tried to tax Gibraltarians before some democracy was introduced.