GIBRALTAR’S Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia said he is looking at ‘alternative’ plans in case EU treaty talks fail.
Garcia was speaking after he met the UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty as he attended the 13th round of EU treaty talks in London.
Garcia, a former Europhile, ‘reviewed the ongoing negotiations for a treaty on the future relationship of Gibraltar’ with the UK minister, the government said in a statement.
He ‘examined contingencies’ with Docherty, the government statement said.
Gibraltar and the UK have bargained hard for an EU treaty that would span the next four years.
But despite recent optimism, both sides have still not reached agreement on a treaty that would remove the frontier and allow free movement.
“All sides in the negotiations are committed to working intensively to conclude an EU-UK Treaty,” Garcia said.
“This will help secure future prosperity for both Gibraltar and the surrounding region.
“However, in the event that this is not possible, it is important at the same time to prepare for the alternative as much as we can”.
If a deal fails to materialise, Gibraltarians and EU citizens would both have to get their passports stamped on entry and exit from the British overseas territory.
It would leave Gibraltar very isolated while encumbering the thousands of workers that cross the land frontier to work there everyday.
The UK has vowed to do all it can to help out the Rock in the event of such a situation.
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