Gi­bral­tar faces cri­sis if it crashes out of the EU

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters to the editor -

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

Ep­ping, Es­sex

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

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