Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabián Picardo, said that “the possible final results of this process are still uncertain” in a statement issued by the Gibraltar government after Prime Minister Theresa May said she is in the process of negotiating “alternative agreements” with EU leaders. Mr Picardo stressed that “the best option” would be the revocation of Article 50 and remain in the EU, before emphasising that the position of the Rock is “to continue preparing for any case”. He added: “Therefore, we have continued to work intensely to cover all reasonably expected results in order to offer the results we require, certainty for all citizens and businesses alike. “We will continue with this work and collaborating with the United Kingdom, the European institutions and the member states, including Spain, to ensure that all our citizens are equally and reciprocally protected in any case.”
Britons living in Gibraltar added that following calls from the Labour Party for a second referendum, cancelling Article 50 and remaining in the EU would be “the best possible outcome”.
The Gibraltan government added in a statement: “Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar would back a ‘remain’ outcome in such a referendum, despite the many concerns we have had about the statements and actions of the EU institutions and some Member States since the Article 50 notification was originally given by the UK in April 2017.”
It added that it was concerned over Mrs May’s delaying of a meaningful vote on her Brexit deal until March 12, just two weeks before the UK departure date.
If her deal is rejected, MPs will then vote on whether they want to leave the EU with or without a deal on March 13, before a vote is held on extending Article 50.
Gibraltar added: “The Government is concerned about the consequences of an extension for obvious reasons.
“The position of the Gibraltar Government is that Gibraltar must continue to prepare for all eventualities as we leave the EU. Therefore the detailed and serious planning for a no deal Brexit will continue.”
Gibraltar’s stance on Brexit comes after staunch Brexiteers demanded Mrs May resign as Prime Minister in return for backing for her plan B deal with the EU, which would tie the UK to their customs union, single market and include an Irish backstop.
She told MPs in the House of Commons she is close to getting concessions on the hated backstop but MPs said she may have to sacrifice herself to get the deal through Parliament, with a new leader taking over trade negotiations this Autumn.
A vote on Yvette Cooper’s amendment to delay Article 50 will take place this evening.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.