The first day of talks between the United Kingdom, together with Gibraltar, and the European Union on the future relationship of Gibraltar with the EU took place this afternoon in Brussels.

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo (who is presently on his final day of COVID self-isolation ahead of a return to the office on Tuesday), and the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, were both able to connect virtually into the meeting from Gibraltar.

The Attorney General, Michael Llamas CMG QC and the Gibraltar representative in Brussels, Daniel D’Amato, were present in the negotiating room.

Mr Picardo delivered an opening statement for Gibraltar.

The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the process will end positively and stressed the commitment of the Government of Gibraltar to work constructively towards a solution in all areas.

The Chief Minister explained the importance of a fluid border to many thousands of citizens, of all nationalities, on both sides. Mr Picardo outlined the desire to expand even further the shared prosperity that such fluidity has already generated.

Mr Picardo said: ‘I was very pleased to be able to kick off the negotiation today for Gibraltar. Today is an important day as the process of this negotiation is now underway. I am pleased to say that I believe that there was a positive approach on display from all in the negotiating room. I remain optimistic and believe it will be possible to find a route to a treaty, although I am also realistic enough to know that we could still fail. I will continue to work towards resolving issues positively in a manner that protects all our important and fundamental equities and does not compromise us in any of those key areas.