"Ladies & Gentlemen

 Welcome to our 17th Gibraltar Financial Services event in London.

This is the first Gibraltar Day since the result of the EU Referendum.

It is true to say that Gibraltar reacted on the morning of the 24th June with concern at the result of that referendum.

I confess I was unsurprised at the result.

My own straw polling of friends in the United Kingdom had indicated that leave was likely to succeed.


And so my colleagues and I had already started to prepare for what Brexit might look like for us in Gibraltar.

It is true that there are a lot of moving parts going forward.

It is also true that a small economy like Gibraltar has less moving parts and is therefore able to steady itself and reposition itself more easily than most.

And with the help of our partners, colleagues and friends in the Government of the United Kingdom, I believe that we may even be able to emerge from the process of Brexit that we didn’t choose, stronger than we might have imagined.

In that context, it is right that I should thank the Prime Minister, Mrs May for the fulsome and genuine support we are receiving from her Government at this time.

Gibraltar is being fully involved and supported in discussions about the Brexit negotiations.


The Secretary of State for International Trade, the Right Honourable Dr Liam Fox, is with us today to celebrate Gibraltar Day in London as evidence of that fulsome support from the UK Government.

It is also true that Dr Fox is not just someone who is showing us his friendship today.

He is a genuine and long term friend of Gibraltar.

Whether he has been Secretary of State or back-bencher, Liam has always been supportive of Gibraltar.

He is in particular a strong supporter of the endurance of the relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom.

Those of you who have attended this event previously will know that we have not been joined by a Secretary of State before.

We are therefore genuinely grateful that Dr Fox has agreed to be with us today.

Since the 24th of June it is also true to say that Gibraltar has continued to attract new business in the field of Financial Services and Online Gaming.

We are seeing new entrants to the market in both sectors.

In Online Gaming we are continuing to see remarkable interest in Gibraltar as well as real and actual growth.

Additionally, in the Financial Services industry we are seeing new applications for licences to set up in Gibraltar.

That is a testament to the strength of the regulatory covenant we enjoy in Gibraltar.


In fact, regulation to the International, European and United Kingdom Standard is what has made Gibraltar objectively a centre of excellence in the delivery of quality Financial Services.

And we have done so whilst remaining in the leading pack in delivering transparency in the provision of these services, something on which I was able to work closely and cooperatively with former Prime Minister David Cameron.

And it is that robust regulation which has delivered growth to us across the board in all sectors.

That is exactly that type of announcement you might NOT have expected to hear me make today.

But the work of the professionals in our financial services and gaming industries is in keeping with our Gibraltarian trading spirit.

That is the entrepreneurial spirit which has been the hallmark of generations of Gibraltarian businesses.

And that has meant that the work we have done since the 24th of June with Ministerial colleagues in the United Kingdom and officials is now serving us very well indeed.


Our work in the "Heat Mapping” of the Gibraltar economy has allowed us to ensure that Downing Street,

the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Department for Exiting the European Union and

Dr Fox’s Department of International Trade

understand what Gibraltar needs out of the BREXIT process.


It has also disclosed to us in objective statistical terms how much more important Britain and access to it is to Gibraltar than any other market.

We have long known that instinctively.

We can now demonstrate it empirically.


And so if pressed to choose between London, Britain and the United Kingdom on the one hand or Brussels, the European Union and the Single Market on the other, we know what our choice will be.

We will choose our relationship with Britain every time whilst we will of course continue to seek access to the EU single market where possible.

And we will do so BOTH with our hearts AND with our heads.

And not least because our relationship with the City of London is long standing and enduring.

Based on our joint history as well as on our current business relationships and our future business opportunities.

And that it is in respect of those future opportunities that we and the whole United Kingdom will be looking to the talented Dr Fox.

For us, the opportunity will lie principally in seeking to maintain the bilateral relationship of access that we enjoy today to the UK market in Financial Services at least.


Additionally, we will of course also seek access through the UK to the new trade networks that may be established with Europe and the world.

And the best person to set out how those may develop is the Secretary of State himself.

And so, with thanks again for his time, ladies and gentlemen, The Right Honourable Dr Liam Fox MP.


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