Is The Rock at risk due to Brexit?

Published:  16 Aug at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: Spain, Visas, UK, England
British long-stay expatriates in Gibraltar are concerned no-one’s listening to them about the Brexit effect on their unique location.

Nowadays, Gibraltar is more British than Britain, having belonged to the UK for 300 years and still displaying red phone boxes, letter boxes and Union Jacks. It’s a mini version of the best of Little England set just off Spain’s Andalusian coastline and is home to 30,000 people as well as its 300 famous Barbary apes. Sadly, the monkeys may get the best deal out of Brexit as no-one is asking them to leave as yet.

The majority of Brits on ‘The Rock’, as the tiny country is affectionately known, are long-stayers seen as unique for their intense loyalty to a Britain which, in reality, no longer exists. The border with Spain is a lifeline for workers, shoppers and visitors, and 96 per cent of Gibraltarians voted against leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum. Brussels is seen by residents as a crucial buffer against Spain’s continuing claims of sovereignty over the Rock, a claim staunchly rejected by all.

However, there’s now a feeling of vulnerability clouding residents’ lives, although the initial shock of the Leave vote has largely receded. In the same way as the UK expats in EU member states, the collective expat community on Gibraltar is feeling resentful that all it’s received are fine words and no action whatsoever as regards the situation. Whilst the British negotiating team and Theresa May are spreading even more confusion, Spain is continuing to push its claim to the Rock and is attempting to gain joint control of its tiny airport.

Some 10,000 residents in mainland Spain commute daily to Gibraltar to work in finance, at the British naval base, in tourism or in one of the Rock’s casinos. After a hard Brexit, they’d all need visas, none of which are at present suitable for their situations. One expat commuter, originally from the Welsh town of Pontypool, lives in Estepona and has commuted to work on the Rock for 10 years. He’s certain Gibraltar needs the workforce from Spain, adding that local Spanish towns also need the work from Gibraltar. The mix between Spanish and Gibraltarians may seem strange, especially to politicians, but the vast majority like it that way and want it to continue.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive