Gibraltar faces crisis if it crashes out of the EU
SIR – As a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar has no direct say over its future relationship with the European Union, which is to be determined bilaterally by Britain and Spain, and it is threatened with exclusion from transition period arrangements which could see it leave the EU abruptly in March 2019.
In March 2017, Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo told a House of Lords committee that loss of access to the EU’s single market would be a severe blow to the local economy. Every day, 10,000 Spanish residents cross the border from the town of La Linea to work in Gibraltar. Gibraltar’s food and domestic fuel are supplied almost entirely across the land border. Its waste is processed in Spain and 93 per cent of its tourists – contributing £200million per annum to Gibraltar’s economy – arrive and leave by land.
Gibraltar seems low on the priority list of the Brexit secretary, David Davis, and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier, but sooner or later they will need to address its unique issues. Otherwise, we could soon be facing another Irish border situation. Neil A James
Bargas, Toledo, Spain SIR – As Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s minister for commerce, explained at a conference in London last week, Gibraltar is gaining a lot of business from EU enterprises that want a foothold in Britain after Brexit.
Any attempt to seal Gibraltar in the EU would deny them that role and make British financial services and other businesses there uneconomical. Andrew Smith
SIR – I have read with some incredulity the suggestions that a customs barrier with the EU will lead to massive disruption of trade between Britain and Europe.
My company manufactures electronic products in the UK and ships them to my distributor in Las Vegas on a regular basis. The goods leave my stores in Oxfordshire before midday and arrive in Las Vegas mid-morning the following day, having cleared Customs in Memphis, Tennessee, overnight.
What is the problem about shipping across the Channel? Jonny Seccombe
Lifescience Products Ltd Salford, Oxfordshire