GibLive! December 2017

December 2017 5 GibLive! NEWS Comment at news@giblive.gi Visit www.giblive.com for the latest news headlines SPAIN is once again look- ing to force a wedge be- tween Gibraltar and the UK Government by sug- gesting that The Rock is heading for an abrupt exit from the single market without the benefit of any form of transition deal. Spanish Government sources are reported to be saying that the British Government has failed to offer any proposals on the future of the Rock and that in their opinion Gibraltar is not a priority for Downing Street. The Spanish Govern- ment source is reported to have suggested that The- resa May’s government ap- peared to have bigger issues to deal with than the fate of the people who live on The Rock. The unnamed source said: “I think the situation with Gibraltar is crystal clear. Gibraltar became as- sociated with the EU project because of their dependence in the UK. This is going to stay until March 2019. In 2019 when the UK leaves the EU, Gibraltar will leave with the UK.” The source added: “This is what we are telling the Gibraltarians. If you want to have your existing status, you will have to talk with us. And I cannot under- stand why Fabian Picardo has refused to do so. I think in the past he has played very hard on the other side. But reality arrives.” Pressed on Britain’s lack of any firm proposals re- garding the post Brexit fu- ture of Gibraltar, the source said: “I honest- ly believe they have other more important issues.” The Spanish Government is also keen to pour cold wa- ter on David Davis’s upbeat assessment on potential trade deals with Spain ac- cusing Britain of misinter- preting Madrid’s position. “It is amazing how the British misread us it is al- most as if we speak a dif- ferent language. They come to us, we say: ‘We will see what we can do.’ But it means nothing. “The Foreign Office is very good – at least, they used to be very good – but they come to see us on any other issues and they would understand we are favour- ing their position when it UK Secretary of State for Brexit David Davis has come under in- creased pressure from peers of an influential House of Lords commit- tee for answers regard- ing the UK position with regard to Gibraltar and Brexit. The questions were the subject of a letter deliv- ered by Lord Boswell of Aynho, chairman of the House of Lords European Union Committee. His letter included a raft of questions of which he re- quested replies by Decem- ber 5. The Conservative Peer posed some testing chal- lenges including ques- tioning what plans the UK Government had in place for Gibraltar should no deal be struck between the UK and the EU. Lord Boswell also add- ed to Mr Davis’s woes by enquiring what discus- sions had taken place re- garding frontier workers. He also asked for clari- fication on the “range of options” that the UK had said that they were ex- ploring to ensure a fluid frontier. To add to Mr Davis’s headaches Lord Boswell enquired how the Minis- ter intended to respond to Fabian Picardo’s con- cerns over Clause 24 of the European Council’s Guidelines about which the Chief Minister had said must be “resisted resolutely”. The peer also wanted to knowwhat steps had been taken to include Gibraltar in global trade deals. And what would happen to Gi- braltar Territorial Waters post Brexit? Lord Boswell also re- sponded to recent corre- spondence from the UK Government to the Lords Committee committing to “open and constructive communication”, asking what steps were being taken to ensure that the discussions continue and intensify. It can only be hoped that this intervention by the committee can bring some positive answers to a number of critical concerns for all on The Rock. Peers pile pres sure on Davis over Gib status after Brexit Spain questions UK commitment to Rock wasn’t the case. I get the impression that when the British and Mr Davis come to see us and we say: ‘I will see what I can do,’ he makes a positive interpretation. “We are sticking behind the EU’s chief Brexit nego- tiator. We want a deal. We think you took a decision, you stick to your decision and you should leave in 2019. And we want a fair deal. That’s all. But we will stick to Barnier. We will not find other ways out of it.” Unit 17 Ocean Village Promenade, Ocean Village, Gibraltar +350 200 50050 pizzaexpressgib www.pizzaexpressgib.com

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