Monday 3 April 2017 / 8:07 PM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

Keir Starmer letter to David Davis raising ongoing concerns about the impact of Brexit on Gibraltar

Keir
Starmer MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU,
has written to
David Davis this evening to raise ongoing concerns about the impact of Brexit
on Gibraltar.

Keir’s
letter follows a conversation with the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian
Picardo, earlier today.

In
the letter Keir highlights three major concerns:

1.     
The application of any new UK/EU trade deal on
services to Gibraltar.

2.     
Agreement on the continuation of access Gibraltar’s
access to the UK market.

3.     
Agreement on the application to Gibraltar of any new
trade deals the UK does with third countries.

Keir
Starmer said:

“This afternoon I spoke with Fabian Picardo [Chief Minister of
Gibraltar] and it is clear there are serious and ongoing concerns about the
situation in Gibraltar. The Government need urgently to address this and to
provide clear reassurances for British citizens in Gibraltar.”

Ends

Notes
to editors:

·        
Full
copy of the letter to David Davis below:

Dear
David,

After
discussions this afternoon with the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian
Picardo, I am writing to raise a number of important issues concerning the
ongoing situation in Gibraltar.

The
Chief Minister emphasised three outstanding concerns to me, all of which I hope
you will consider and respond to as a matter of urgency.

1: Application of any
new UK/EU trade deal on services to Gibraltar

A concern that the UK should be firm in continuing to defend the
position that any new agreement which may emerge from these negotiations should
cover Gibraltar.  

The Chief Minister emphasised that the UK cannot just accept the
Council’s draft parameter, setting out Spain’s position that any new trade deal
can only apply to Gibraltar as a result of a bilateral agreement between the UK
and Spain.  A tough line needs to be taken and maintained.

2. Agreement on the
continuation of Gibraltar’s access to the UK market

A concern that the Government of Gibraltar needs to be able to
finalise the agreement with the UK to demonstrate that Gibraltar will have
continued access to the UK market.  This is important in respect of all
services but in particular, in respect of financial services (especially
insurance) and online gaming services.  I am told that the wording used to
date has been very helpful as political commitment but that a proposed one page
agreement has not yet been finalised despite finding considerable favour and
traction with colleagues in the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) from the
Department for Exiting the EU and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

3. Agreement on the application to Gibraltar of any new trade
deals the UK does with third countries

I understand that this is also agreed but that Gibraltar need a
very clear public statement of this.  Clear language from yourself and The
Secretary of State for International Trade on this point would be helpful to
Gibraltar.

As
you and I discussed over the weekend, the sovereignty of Gibraltar should not
be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit discussions. It is vital that the
interests of British citizens in Gibraltar are protected and that ongoing
uncertainty over Gibraltar is resolved urgently.

I look
forward to your reply.

Yours
sincerely,

Keir
Starmer QC MP

Shadow
Secretary of State for Exiting the EU

MP
for Holborn & St Pancras