UK Ministers met with Ministers from the Government of Gibraltar at the eighth Joint Ministerial Council (Gibraltar EU Negotiations) in London, where they discussed preparations for our exit from the EU, reached an agreement on gambling and explored ways to deepen cooperation across a range of areas including environment and transport.
Five Ministers, representing departments from across the UK Government attended the meeting on the 24 January to update on their ongoing work with the Government of Gibraltar to ensure our close relationship is maintained and strengthened.
It followed a productive meeting between Secretary of State Stephen Barclay and the Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo last month where they discussed how the UK will work with Gibraltar for the best possible outcome on Brexit.
The meeting was attended by DExEU Minister Robin Walker, the Minister for the Armed Forces, the Minister for Europe and the Americas and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury for substantive discussions on Gibraltar’s preparations for exit. The Economic Secretary to the Treasury stayed at the meeting afterwards to discuss the UK-Gibraltar relationship.
Following the meeting, Minister Walker said:
“Today was another opportunity to ensure the close UK-Gibraltar ties can move from strength to strength outside the EU.
“This positive and constructive meeting was marked by further progress including confirming that the Gibraltar Protocol and accompanying MOUs protect Gibraltar’s interests, and should form the basis of the way forward in securing an EU Exit that works for Gibraltar.”
The Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies, announced the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enable closer working between gambling regulators in Great Britain and Gibraltar, building on the commitment that gambling operators based in Gibraltar will continue to access the UK market after we leave the EU in the same way they do now.
On the gambling MOU, Minister Davies said:
“I am delighted to welcome this agreement which will enable closer working between gambling regulators in Great Britain and Gibraltar. Regulatory cooperation is a valuable tool in our collective efforts to ensure gambling is fair and safe while enabling socially responsible growth.”
Both sides continued to explore ways we can strengthen and, where possible, deepen cooperation across a range of areas including environment and transport. On financial services, the Government of Gibraltar reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the highest, shared standards of regulation, supervision and enforcement.
They also provided assurance that they will adopt a similar and reciprocal approach to the UK with their EU Exit legislation in order to support bilateral financial services market access in the short-term, whilst working constructively with the UK towards an appropriate longer-term framework outside of the EU.
Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo said:
We had another excellent meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DExEU Robin Walker and with the Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan, Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster, Treasury Minister John Glen and Mims Davies, Minister at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
We were able to update each other on the planning for a no deal Brexit both in Gibraltar and in the United Kingdom. This is in line with the policy of the Government of Gibraltar to prepare for every eventuality. A general discussion on the future arrangements also took place.
As usual, the meeting was positive and helpful and we were able to build on the output of various working groups. I am grateful to all those associated with this work, which continues to enhance the close relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.