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What does Brexit mean for Gibraltar?

Friday, May 27, 2016 - 01:42

Gibraltar fears Brexit would lead to economic decline and leave the border with Spain at the mercy of Madrid which continues to lay claim to the British overseas territory. But as Ivor Bennett reports, it's not just those on 'The Rock' who'll be affected.

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Gibraltar is getting ready for a fight. 1800 kilometres from London and over 250 times smaller, the UK overseas territory depends on a lot more than the British crown. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GIBRALTAR DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER, DR. JOSEPH GARCIA, SAYING: "If Gibraltar and the UK were to leave the European Union, it would place the border, the fluidity of the border, indeed the very fact of whether the border is open or closed, it would place that at the mercy of Madrid and that would have very serious economic consequences for us." 10,000 people cross the border every day from Southern Spain. But commuting hasn't always been so easy. Three years ago, Spain imposed strict controls. And if Britain does leave the EU, many fear they'll do it again as the age-old issue of sovereignty resurfaces. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH CHEF WORKING IN GIBRALTAR, LUIS MIGUEL SEÑOR, SAYING: "The truth is I am really worried, because if Britain leaves and the border is closed, I, along with another 9000 Spaniards working here, will be out of work." The continental flavour is one of Gibraltar's key selling points. That and low corporation tax. But a Brexit would mean firms here would be subject to whatever deal London can get. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MISS GIBRALTAR 1967, LAURA BASSADONE, SAYING: "Gibraltar has a lot of commercial premises, people here, you know, a lot of companies and I think it will affect Gibraltar, the utmost there." (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIFE MEMBER OF THE GIBRALTAR SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (GSD) EXECUTIVE, TERRY CARTWRIGHT, SAYING: "If I was living in England I'd vote out most definitely, but I'm living here so I will vote in." Local polls suggest 88 percent back staying in the EU. But as the vote nears, it's clear Britain has never felt quite so far away.

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What does Brexit mean for Gibraltar?

Friday, May 27, 2016 - 01:42