As a special British overseas territory sharing a land border with an EU country, Gibraltar’s economy and people are expected to suffer significantly from Brexit, in spite of the fact that its population of 32,000 inhabitants voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU in the UK’s referendum.
With 12,000 European citizens crossing the border from Spain every day to work in Gibraltar, preserving a free flowing border post-Brexit with its neighbour Spain will be of utmost importance for Gibraltar’s economy, which is greatly dependent on the cross-border workers who hold 40% of total jobs on the Rock. A free flowing border is also crucial for the tourist sector, as the majority of the 10 million tourists who visit Gibraltar every year reach the Rock by land. A fluid border will be equally important for the economy of Andalucía, since Gibraltar is the second largest employer for the whole Spanish region. The status of Gibraltar’s airport and its access to the EU single airspace will also be an important issue in the withdrawal agreement, as will the participation of Gibraltar in the future trade agreements that the UK will strike with third countries. These are some of the issues that were addressed during our conference in Gibraltar on 25 April 2017.
The conference, organised by the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and Citizens Advice International (CAI), with the support of the Government of Gibraltar and Hassans International Law Firm, took place at the University of Gibraltar and was attended by 120 participants. The conference was also broadcast live and followed by over 70 viewers online, and was followed with great interest by the local media.
This event was organised in the framework of the project ‘Brexit Takeaways’, which aims to raise awareness among citizens of the possible impact of different Brexit scenarios on their rights and advocate for the best possible deal for citizens.