UK and Gibraltar ministers met in London to discuss the EU treaty progress and prepare ‘the alternative’ if talks collapse, the Rock’s government said.
Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia ironed out the details in a meeting with UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in London.
Their meeting came during two days of hard bargaining with Spain and the EU on a deal that would essentially guarantee free movement for a four year period.
Talks have been ongoing for almost four years themselves, such is the extent of the changes expected.
“The UK and Gibraltar Governments remain fully committed to concluding an agreement on the future relationship of Gibraltar with the European Union,” Garcia said in a statement.
“This will help secure future prosperity for both Gibraltar and the surrounding region.”
Garcia also held a number of cross-party meetings during his London stay.
The most voted candidate at the October 12 general election had a ‘positive meeting’ with Labour Shadow Europe Minister Steven Doughty, his government said.
With the current Westminster Opposition odds-on favourite to sweep into power next year, Doughty ‘reiterated Labour’s support for Gibraltar and for a beneficial treaty’, the statement said.
Garcia also briefed Members of the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons on treaty matters.
The Deputy Chief Minister took the opportunity to discuss these issues with the Chair of the House of Lords’ European Affairs Committee Lord Ricketts and with the Foreign Affairs spokesperson of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Lord Purvis.
“I was delighted with the cross-part support that continues to exist and for the determination in all quarters to safeguard and protect Gibraltar,” Garcia said.
“This was reflected in all my meetings, in particular with Europe Minister Leo Docherty and also with his Labour and Liberal Democrat counterparts Stephen Doughty and Lord Purvis.”
He noted how it was ‘important to continue to inform our friends in the UK Parliament’ after EU negotiations restarted so they can understand Gibraltar’s ‘policy priorities’, the government added.