19th January 2017, 19:36
An advocate general for Europe’s highest court has said the UK and Gibraltar should be considered as a single Member State in the application of the Treaty freedom to provide services. This opinion in the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association’s case against the introduction of a point of consumption tax, which affects all operators, including those on the Rock, will be considered a setback for the Association. It will now need to be considered by the European Court of Justice, which will decide whether or not to adopt it. The Point of Consumption tax is already in effect on the Rock and therefore the extra costs have been largely absorbed by the industry.
The GBGA and the Gibraltar Government, as an interested party, have argued that Gibraltar has the constitutional status of a separate territory, and that the EU freedom to provide services therefore extends to the relationship between the UK and Gibraltar.
The opinion, while arising in the context of this particular case, and if adopted by the Court, may have a bearing on Brexit discussion, in particular if the opinion of the Advocate General is applied more broadly.
For its part, the GBGA says it’s naturally disappointed and continues to believe the point of consumption tax is a disproportionate restriction on operators. It adds it looks forward to receiving the court’s judgement.