Gibraltar will have to ‘make a success’ of tough ‘challenges’ in 2020, according to the Chief Minister.

In his New Year’s speech Fabian Picardo mentioned details of a major investment to be announced in the next couple of weeks

Picardo said everyone must work together with ‘stoic sacrifice’ by asking for less ‘to secure our children’s future’.

He noted the ‘critical importance’ of the MoUs and Tax Treaty which allowed Gibraltar to take part in the transition period.

Picardo highlighted the ‘dangers and opportunities’ of leaving the EU, pointing out the agreement of a UK common market was a ‘Brexit Bonus’.

However, Picardo promised to remain firm in agreements over future relations with the EU after the expected final departure date of the end of 2020.

“Any negotiation for Gibraltar for such a deal will be conducted for Gibraltar by a team led by me or by Joseph Garcia,” he said.

“Such negotiations must be based on mutual recognition, mutual respect and an understanding that nothing can ever be imposed on Gibraltar.”

Red lines

This would mean Gibraltar could opt out of a deal which gave other countries like Spain a greater say on the future of the overseas territory.

“The Government I lead is willing to walk away if the terms proposed do not favour Gibraltar or respect our red lines,” said Picardo.

“Our sovereignty, our jurisdiction and our exclusive control of our affairs are all non-negotiable.”

After congratulating Pedro Sanchez on forming a coalition government, he will have breathed a huge sigh of relief he would not be up against a more right-wing Spain.

Instead he wanted to look at ‘policies based on the principle of dialogue, understanding and co-operation between our respective people’.

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