Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Gibraltar Finance Minister: "Thumping Progress" In Brexit Preparations
5 November 2019, 16:44
Albert Isola, the Minster for Finance in Gibraltar told Nick Ferrari that a lot of progress has been made in preparing Gibraltar for post-Brexit times - despite Gibraltar having voted 96 per cent to remain.
Albert Isola said: "Gibraltar has been very clear, we voted 96% of the referendum to remain.
"But obviously from that day onwards, our focus has been entirely on doing what the British people voted for which is delivering Brexit.
"So we've worked extremely hard and very closely with the UK Government, probably closer than ever before, in panning out what post-Brexit would look like in the relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.
We've done really well, we've made huge progress, both in terms of our commercial and our political links with the UK."
Nick Ferrari asked: "So where would the pressure point be for Gibraltar and Gibraltarians in a post-Brexit world?"
Isola answered: "I think the biggest challenge for us is the land frontier with Spain, even though that frontier today shouldn't change post-Brexit because we're outside the Customs Union so we have the customs checker outside Schengen.
"So we have the immigration checks. There shouldn't be any change but of course, over the past two years, we've had issues with with unreasonable delays by the Spanish officials.
We've been able to campaign to the European Union. The European Union has made it very clear that they will take the side of Spain in any dispute over Gibraltar and so that makes it very difficult for us."
He then told Nick Ferrari, however, that they've done a lot of work to resolve these "tensions" with the Spanish government. They now have a memoranda and a tax agreement with Spain which five years ago would have seemed "impossible".
He spoke of "thumping progress" during these three years of "uncertainty and challenge."