28th September 2016
The Conservative Leader and Gibraltar MEP Ashley Fox is to tell the new Secretary for Exiting the European Union that Gibraltar and its border with Spain must be central to any new agreement with the EU.
Mr Fox said, “Our job is to negotiate the best possible exit deal in light of the referendum result and free movement of people between Gibraltar and Spain needs to be discussed. It is every bit as serious as similar discussions taking place with the Irish Republic.”
Mr Fox is to raise the issue with the Brexit Secretary David Davis next month after meeting with the Gibraltar/Spain Cross Frontier Group (CFG) in Brussels to discuss the issue.
An estimated 12,000 people cross from Spain every day into Gibraltar to work. Unemployment rates in Gibraltar are negligible. However, in the Spanish region adjoining Gibraltar it is 25% with youth unemployment at 40%
Mr Fox added, “Gibraltar is a special case and must be one of the many issues to be addressed by the UK government.”
Frederick Martin, Cross Frontier Group outgoing Secretary, said, “The CFG’s main objective is to ensure that the current status quo is maintained in respects to the freedom of movement of people and we would like thank Mr Fox for taking time to listen to our argument. Gibraltar creates wealth both sides of the border and we must protect those benefits.”