Brit expats in Gibraltar furious over exclusion from EU no-deal contingency plans

Published:  20 Dec at 6 PM
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The EU’s just-announced plans to mitigate certain effects of a no-deal exit from the EU will not include Gibraltar.

According to EU leader Jean-Claude Juncker’s plans for a no-deal Brexit, flights between the UK and EU member states are certain to be ‘interrupted’ once Britain leaves the EU. Any efforts made to ease the situation will be time-dependent and will not improve the situation for tourists or Britons with second homes in the EU. Following March 29, should a deal not have been made, contingency measures will be limited to ‘basic connectivity’ and regular services will be slashed. In addition, money movements will be only for a limited time. Worst of all for expats on Gibraltar, the temporary allowing of movement of goods, cash and people will not apply to the Rock or its British residents.

Juncker is now warning a disorderly exit from the EU with be ‘catastrophic’ for both sides, adding he’s doing his best to prevent the worst effects, both for British expats in Europe and for the summertime tourists essential to Spain’s economy. However, ever since Spain began to reassert its claims over Gibraltar after Brexit negotiations began, the Rock’s resident British expats have been fearful sovereignty would be returned to its neighbour as a result of Brexit. The eurocrats’ no deal plans excluding Gibraltar will be seen as a move in entirely the wrong direction, leading to even more anger, anxiety and concern.

British lawmakers are now defending Gibraltar’s position as British territory, with Andrew Rosindell, vice-chair of the parliamentary group for Gibraltar, describing the EU’s move as ‘disgraceful and bullying’. The Rock’s MP, Ashley Fox, is equally unhappy, calling the EU’s stance ‘limited and with major omissions’. The government, he added, will robustly defend Gibraltar’s interests and, as there are no air routes between the Rock and EU member states, flight bans would have no effect. A government spokesman told the media Britain will never agree with any arrangement resulting in Gibraltar losing its right to British sovereignty.
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