Gibraltar minister delivers stunning Brexit reply – ‘Whatever UK does, we’re doing it too’ | World | News

Albert Isola said the strength of Gibraltar’s online gaming and financial services sectors left it well placed to weather whatever sort of Brexit came its way – vowing to work even harder to make it a success, outlining his vision for a “business superhighway” between the UK and the British overseas territory. Mr Isola told “This all stems from our campaign, Think Business, Think Gibraltar, which is a result of Brexit, we are creating a new single market, which is the UK and Gibraltar, where Gibraltarian firms will have access into UK markets and UK firms into Gibraltar, to the exclusion of anyone else, because of the unique relationship between Gibraltar and the UK.

“And so having direct passporting rights guaranteed into the UK’s financial services firms, alongside a DTA which was announced around three or four weeks ago between Gibraltar and the UK, puts us in a very privileged position to create a very accelerated amount of business between us in a manner which is regulatory-aligned.”

Mr Isola explained: “When Brexit happened in 2016 Gibraltar vote by 96 percent to Remain.

“We then did a series of work in evaluating where our business came from – we’d never had to do that before.”

The results showed 92 percent of financial services business was with the UK, and eight percent was with the European Union – a fact which surprised Mr Isola and his colleagues, who had believed Gibraltar had more European business.

Referring to Gibraltar’s relationship with the UK, he added: “I don’t think there has ever been any dispute as to the strength of that relationship either politically or commercially.

“I think that also it is true that every Gibraltarian will want that to continue and strengthen so when we talk about a relationship, however attractive that could be, with another country – the obvious example is Spain – or the UK, it’s a slam dunk. There’s nothing to talk about.

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“Now we’ve got to work even harder to make the best of something we did not want, because you’ve got to face up to these challenges.

“Politicians face things every day that they don’t like, but we’ve got to do them.

“On a personal level, I’d love it not to happen, but with reality in front of us, if you think about where Gibraltar is today, we are preparing for a hard Brexit, a no-deal and for a deal, and then there is the other possibility of second referendum, and the revocation of Article 50.

“But we have to plan for what is in front of us and that’s what we are doing.

“With whoever is elected by the UK, we will work very closely with them to make the best of whatever situation we are asked to deal with.

“The question of like or not like is irrelevant.

“We’ve got some very chunky UK businesses working here for some time very successfully and we grow with them.

“It is clear to us now that our relationship is with the UK. Anything else is a bonus.

“Our business primarily is the UK so our focus is in strengthening that relationship with the UK politically and closely and working closer together.”

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