FIVE years ago, Gibraltarians and Brits took to polling stations to have their say on whether the UK should stay in the EU.
The vote was close in the UK, with 52% voting to leave, against 48% who wanted to stay. However, in Gibraltar, only 4% of people believed leaving the EU was a good idea, with a huge 96% voting remain.
Yet, the Government of Gibraltar ‘fully respected’ the overall result declared throughout the UK, and believes it did its best to ‘translate the referendum result safely to Gibraltar from the very diverse aspects involved’.
Throughout the last five years, one of Gibraltar’s main priorities has been to ensure that there was a ‘viable solution, both for Gibraltar and the neighbouring area, to guarantee fluidity along the border, continuity of investments and job creation’.
“It is comforting to look at the progress made over the last five years and to appreciate that Gibraltar is now very close to solving the real problems that a no-deal Brexit could have caused,” said Chief Minister Fabián Picardo.
“As soon as the referendum result was announced, the Spanish far right was optimistic that its result would weaken Gibraltar and give them the opportunity to drive a wedge between us and the UK. They were wrong. The result of the referendum and the COVID pandemic have brought us closer than ever to the UK.”
Picardo also said that Gibraltar is in a good position to start the negotiation of the possible UK Treaty with the EU, based on its New Year’s Eve Agreement with Spain.
In the UK, Boris Johnson has acknowledged the anniversary of the vote by claiming it was his ‘mission’ to use the UK’s new position in the world to deliver a better future for the British people.
“The decision to leave the EU may now be part of our history, but our clear mission is to utilise the freedoms it brings to shape a better future for our people,” said Johnson.
Almost a year and a half since the UK officially left the EU in January 2020, and the changes are finally beginning to show. It’s been difficult, that’s for sure. No one could have predicted that we’d be hit with a national pandemic, and that’s certainly made the process more difficult. But I have faith in the Government of Gibraltar – probably more so than I have in Boris.
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