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13th February 2018, 17:25

​Overseas Territories meeting concludes Gibraltar would be affected by Brexit because of “damaging acts by a neighbouring country”

Gibraltar would be particularly affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union because of the “damaging acts by a neighbouring country”.

This was one of the conclusions of the third meeting of the Council of Environmental Ministers from the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, held in the Isle of Man last week.

Environment Minister Dr John Cortes prepresenting Gibraltar joined other senior officials at the meeting, which otherwise established that good progress was being made on issues of common interest. Senior officials from UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies met to discuss environmental concerns, as well as the opportunities and challenges posed by Brexit. The agenda focused on topics such as sustainability of the environment, terrestrial and marine, and particularly on the impact of plastics. Climate change, energy efficiency and enforcement were also discussed.

Those present recognized the great range of differences in the economies of the countries they represented, as well as the fact that they had in common extraordinary biodiversity, that was a shared responsibility under international conventions.

However, the gathering cautioned that UK’s exit from the European Union would have a “significant impact” on some of the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. The EU, it was noted, was a considerable source of funding for infrastructure and technical advice and stressed that Gibraltar would be particularly impacted because of what it referred to as the “damaging acts by a neighbouring country”.

The territory leaders urged the UK Government to increase diplomatic support to Gibraltar, with associated costs, as well as to facilitate the Rock’s inclusion in other international agreements as a matter of “urgency”.