The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia has said that the wider complex issues surrounding Brexit have helped to raise the profile of Gibraltar in the European Union. There is considerable interest in Gibraltar following the 96% vote to remain and the ongoing developments since the referendum of 23 June.
The Deputy Chief Minister is in Brussels with a busy schedule for two days of meetings. Work related to the planned departure of the UK from the EU, or Brexit portfolio was added to that of European Affairs following the recent Cabinet reshuffle. It is Brexit that dominates the agenda everywhere in Brussels.
Dr Garcia was able to exchange views on the impact of Brexit with a number of different countries and territories directly affected by the referendum result and with others with an obvious interest. These meetings included the Scottish Government Minister for UK negotiations on Scotland's place in Europe Mr Michael Russell, the Head of European Affairs of the Government of Wales Dr Robert Parry and the Director of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels Mr Andrew Elliot.
The Deputy Chief Minister had the opportunity to exchange views with the Director of the Channel Islands Office in Brussels Mr Steve Williams.
Dr Garcia also met with the UK Representation to the European Union UKREP.
"These and other meetings in Brussels have shown that there is considerable interest in Gibraltar as well as considerable sympathy following the referendum result. It is important to exchange views with others who are also affected as there is a wider commonality of interests in certain areas. The Government will continue to put across our point of view to decision makers in the European Union and elsewhere. It is obvious that a sensible and orderly Brexit is in the best interests of all concerned, in our circumstances it is also in the best interests of Gibraltar and of Spain too," explained Dr Garcia.
Dr Garcia was accompanied by Sir Graham Watson who then moved on to Strasbourg with the staff of Gibraltar House in order to continue the lobbying work there also.