Government have said it will renew its Brexit public information campaign with a view to our departure from the European Union on 31 October. This peaked in the run-up to the last target date of 12 April before the deadline was extended.
The message to citizens and businesses is that they should inform themselves and make the necessary preparations for a no deal Brexit. Businesses should contact suppliers and establish that there are no issues with the supply chain that will get the goods to Gibraltar. The Brexit section of the Gibraltar Government website www.gibraltar.gov.gi contains copies of the Technical Notices which have already been published across a number of different areas. Businesses who have a query should contact the relevant department for advice.
There are specific areas where the preparations required need to be made by the business community and not by the individual citizens. Government says it continues to engage directly with the business community and with individual companies in those specific areas.
Meetings have taken place recently, for example, with food importers in order to remind them of the need to make adequate preparations.
'Gibraltar is not in the EU Customs Union. We have no manufacturing industry, no agriculture and no fishing industry. This means that in general terms we are better off than the United Kingdom in terms of the magnitude of the change that we can expect.'
However, perishables which transit the European Union would be subject to a different regime once we are out. This would affect primarily perishable goods from the United Kingdom. Those goods would be required to enter the EU through a Border Inspection Post and to exit the EU through another Border Inspection Post at or near Gibraltar. The effect of this has been under discussion for many months and solutions have been identified and continue to be worked upon.
Government has also said it has resumed its briefings on a no deal Brexit with groups and Associations, the latest of which was with the Environmental Safety Group. That briefing, which lasted over one and a half hours, was attended by the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, Mr Ivor Lopez and Mr Richard Montado for the Government.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who is responsible for work related to our departure from the European Union said:
“We voted to remain in the European Union and this is still the preferred position of the Government. However, we nonetheless need to prepare for our possible departure.
The Government, over the next few weeks, will be reminding the public to prepare for a no deal Brexit. We intend to issue once again the advice we have given covering issues like passports, identity cards, driving licences and health cards. This is important to both the general public and to the business community. We have had over fifty meetings with companies and business organisations and intend to continue that engagement as part of the strategy for our departure. There are some areas where businesses, as opposed to individual citizens, have to prepare so those issues are being discussed directly with the relevant stakeholders in private.
An advertising campaign in the local press and on the Government’s social media platforms will be part of the strategy as we prepare to leave the European Union on 31 October.”