MINISTER John Cortes has been busy representing Gibraltar on the international scene while sat in his office.

The Minister for the Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change and Education was involved in virtual meetings on the environment and education.

In his latest meeting yesterday, Cortes talked to the Welsh Government’s Education Minister Kirsty Williams about university fees after Brexit.

It has already been confirmed that Gibraltar students would be pay the same as before Brexit at English universities.

However, with education being run by each country of the UK in its own way, Gibraltar is engaging the education ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland separately.

“Ms Williams confirmed home fees will continue for Gibraltar students in Wales and that this decision was being formalised by the Welsh Government,” said the Gibraltar Government.

“She and Prof Cortes also discussed ways of building educational bonds between Gibraltar and Wales including links with the University of Gibraltar and Welsh universities.”

The news will be a relief for many Gibraltarians who have attended Welsh universities, with Cardiff being a particularly popular learning destination.

The contact could even provide more exchange for Gibraltar with Wales in the future on education and other issues.

Talks on how schools had handled the COVID-19 pandemic were had as well as how to build up the relationship between the two nations.

Last week, Baroness Sugg, then Minister for the Overseas Territories, confirmed that tuition fees would remain at the same level as at present.

Fighting climate change

Minister Cortes also chaired a meeting about the environment at the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council with the UK last week.

The Prince of Wales was present and spoke how it was important to protect biodiversity and praised the territories for playing their part in this plan.

The loss of EU funds, the effects of COVID-19 and the shift to renewable energy were all discussed in relation to the environment.

Overseas territories could even take part in the COP26 and the Glasgow Climate Change Summit in 2021.

High-level UK ministers commented on the need to move to nature-based solutions to climate change and the need to protect the oceans.

One particular example that was praised was the recent protection of the 90% of the waters around Tristan de Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean.

“The UK Government committed to continue to work with the territories and to review funding opportunities for environmental and climate change initiatives,” added the Gibraltar Government.

Minister Cortes is one of the best qualified ministers in the area Gibraltar has ever had, having been a seasoned environmental campaigner for most of his pre-political life.

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