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Reach Alcance Edition 10
The general sense of unease in the population and the business community about the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is felt particularly keenly in Gibraltar and the county of the Campo de Gibraltar, especially among cross frontier workers and businesses.
The Spanish government tries to allay this sense of anxiety with calls for calm, and Fabian Picardo, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar misses no opportunity to promote his message that the activation of Brexit, if it finally happens will not damage the employment rights of the many thousands of Spaniards who work on the Rock on terms of complete equality with local people.
All hope that there will not be a “hard Brexit” and that there will be a longer transition period to reconcile opposing interests. However, there is a danger that the decision as to how to deal with the withdrawal will be taken away from Parliament and into the streets where there is a sense of increasing aggravation fanned by the far right and the hard left.
In this scenario the words of Richard Ashworth MEP ring clear:
“For over 25 years no British prime minister ever explained to the British people what Europe did, what are the benefits and why it matters, they never defended against the untruths that were spoken. Because of that the British press ran a 20-year campaign based on populist mistrusts, lies and deceit. The consequence is that Britain is a sad nation divided like never before. So let Brexit stand as a cautionary tale to the people of Europe.You are the generation who have lived through the longest period of peace and the greatest level of prosperity ever. Never take it for granted – value it, fight for it, defend it every day.”
In our region it is up to us to make sure that problems created very far away do not prejudice us again.