The Government have said it is delighted that the United Kingdom Government has guaranteed the continuation of market access for Gibraltar financial services and online gaming firms into the UK once we have both left the European Union.
They also said this will serve to reassure the business community and will contribute to encourage the growth of these sectors.
Today’s agreements have come about as a result of the close cooperation and positive discussions between the two Governments since the referendum of June 2016.
A wide package of measures was agreed at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) which took place this morning in London and it also covers University tuition fees, Health, Transport, the Environment and Fishing.
The JMC was chaired by Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union Robin Walker MP and included Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan MP and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP. The Gibraltar delegation was led by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and included the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for EU Exit Dr Joseph Garcia, Attorney General Michael Llamas, Financial Secretary Albert Mena and UK Representative Dominique Searle.
The United Kingdom has agreed to guarantee Gibraltar financial services firms access to UK markets as now until 2020. Ahead of this, the UK has committed to work closely with the Government of Gibraltar to design a replacement framework to endure beyond 2020 similarly based on a shared, high standard of regulation, and enforcement of this regulation, and underpinned by modern arrangements for information-sharing, transparency and regulatory cooperation.
On on-line gaming, the UK have provided an assurance 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 - and they are working towards agreement of a MOU which will enable closer working and collaboration between gambling regulators in Gibraltar and the UK.
The UK have also provided an assurance to the Government of Gibraltar that, following EU Exit, British Citizens resident in Gibraltar will continue to be eligible for higher education Home fee status at English Institutions (both during the Implementation Period and afterwards) subject to concluding a reciprocal agreement for English students studying at Higher Education Institutions in Gibraltar.
On Health, the United Kingdom has agreed to maintain the current reciprocal arrangement between the UK and Gibraltar. This means that Gibraltar can continue to refer an unlimited number of our patients to the UK for free elective treatment.
Gibraltar and the UK have also agreed to recognise the importance of enhancing our liaison on all of the environmental and fisheries implications of EU exit that are relevant to Gibraltar, whether by sharing information as openly as we can, by providing specialist expertise across a range of policy areas to support Gibraltar with its own preparations, or by considering with Gibraltar where its interests might be promoted in future through regional or international agreements.
Finally, on transport matters, the UK has expressed its commitment to work closely with the Government of Gibraltar towards transport arrangements post EU Exit that support Gibraltar’s prosperity.
Following the meeting, Minister Robin Walker said:
“It was good to meet with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo today, and continue our ongoing constructive engagement with Gibraltar on the process of our EU exit. We agreed a positive package deal on issues surrounding our exit from the EU which ensures that the relationship we have built over hundreds of years remains solid and undented.”
The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said:
"The work we have done with the teams led by Secretary of State David Davis at DeExEU and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at the FCO is bearing fruit today. The UK - and in particular Mr Davis and Mr Johnson - has recognised the importance of market access for Gibraltar and Robin Walker and Sir Alan Duncan have worked hard with us to make the announcements today a reality. Great care has rightly been taken by the UK and Gibraltar to ensure regulatory standards will be maintained between us in a manner than will de designed to assure customer protection and equivalence on regulatory outcomes going forward. Today our bilateral relationship grows stronger and the terms for it to endure are further cemented as we realise the commitment to maintain and enhance market access for Gibraltar service providers into the UK post-Brexit. There is a lot to celebrate in this and a lot of hard work to recognise on the part also of the team in Gibraltar, in particular the Deputy Chief Minister and the Attorney General, and in the UK FCO, DeExEU, Treasury, DCMS, Cabinet Office and Downing Street. I extend the gratitude of Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar and the people of Gibraltar to all involved."