SPAIN’S progressive governing coalition has removed an outstanding case against the European Commission over Gibraltar.
Originally made by the Partido Popular when the right-wing party was in power, it was aimed at forcing the Rock to change its taxation system.
If it had succeeded, Gibraltar would have had to have a corporate tax similar to the UK.
The current system, which was approved by the European Commission and the UK, gives international companies a real reason to move their offices to the British territory.
The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo admitted that the case had lost some impact due to Gibraltar leaving the EU.
“We will now leave the EU with clarity that on such a fundamental issue as Gibraltar’s independent taxing powers there was never a requirement that Gibraltar should be treated as part of the UK’s fiscal territory,” he said.
“This was the position of the European Commission, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.
“We therefore welcome the withdrawal of the case.”
Although Picardo was confident ‘Spain’s challenge was unlikely to succeed’, it would have had to be defended by the UK with Gibraltar’s help.
The case concerns Spain’s view that Gibraltar is still a colony and not a self-governing territory.
This change of tune comes as Spain continues talks with Gibraltar over keeping the frontier flowing freely.
At present the only thing we know for certain is that 15,000 workers that cross into the Rock everyday will continue to be able to do so without extra frontier checks.
If the UK can agree a deal with the EU, Gibraltar could even become part of Schengen and the Common Market.
This could turn the dream of sharing wealth with the relatively poor area into an entirely possible reality.