Friday, 22 November, 2019


A third of United Kingdom companies could 'shift operations abroad' after Brexit

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Bennie Garza | 02 February, 2019, 03:57

But diplomats said Britain's ambassador to the European Union had objected to the wording of the text; it placed the 33,000 people of Gibraltar in a different category from UK citizens - with the same travel rights - and it also spelled out Spain's claim to sovereignty over "The Rock" at the United Nations.

"The irony is that it is Spain itself that is keeping Gibraltar on the United Nations list and then using our presence there to label Gibraltar as a "colony", No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

The Government says the global legal status of Gibraltar is a matter of fact, pointing out that it is listed as a "non-self-governing territory" by the UN.

The European Commission's vice president Frans Timmermans later said that United Kingdom nationals would be exempt from visa requirements as long as the same applied to EU citizens heading to Britain. The port at the mouth of the Mediterranean, ceded to Britain by Spain in 1713 after a war, was a "crown colony" when Britain joined the European bloc in 1973 but London reclassified it as a "British overseas territory" in 2002.

GBC's Christina Cortes asked the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, to confirm that Gibraltar is set to be listed as a visa-exempt territory, albeit in a separate category to the UK.

The new regulation allows British citizens to visit the continent without a visa for up to 90 days and was approved by the European Parliament.

Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the Institute of Directors, said: "It brings no pleasure to reveal these worrying signs, but we can no more ignore the real consequences of delay and confusion than business leaders can ignore the hard choices that they face in protecting their companies".

The row highlights the fact that even before Brexit has been given effect, the European Union is lining up behind Spain on issues relating to Gibraltar.

"This is totally out of place in the modern Europe of today".

Gibraltarians are entitled to full British citizenship - and most hold British citizen passports - meaning they will benefit from the measure.

The decision is a major step forward for people who faced uncertainty over holiday bookings amid chaos in Parliament on the Brexit deal.

United Kingdom citizens will be able to travel across the European Union without a visa in the event of a no-deal Brexit, on the condition that the favour is reciprocated.

"According to European Union rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity".

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