The Government today conducted a table-top exercise to test its planning assumptions in the event of no treaty to govern the future relationship of Gibraltar with the European Union.
Nineteen Gibraltar Government departments and agencies were involved, alongside the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and the UK Ministry of Defence.
The six-hour exercise simulated the consequences of the impact of a breakdown in negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union. It simulated the impact on day one and also on day thirty plus of no treaty.
The Exercise Director, who is the Civil Contingencies Coordinator Ivor Lopez, presented the training objectives, the exercise programme and the exercise scenario. A full debriefing will be conducted as soon as practicable after the end of the exercise in order to capture the key issues.
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, who gave a brief introduction to those assembled, reminded the group of the importance of the work on a No Negotiated Outcome. He stressed that a no deal scenario remained a very real one until a treaty had been concluded, and added that although close, the different parties were not quite there yet. Dr Garcia explained that the no deal preparations run in parallel to the treaty work and that further meetings of this work-stream were taking place at the same time as the exercise.
Dr Garcia added: “The Government will mitigate against the negative effects of no treaty in those areas where this is possible. There are some areas where it will be impossible to provide mitigation, and in those areas the NNO scenario will simply reflect what it means to be outside the European Union. This will be a different world where our interactions with Spain and with the EU will be more cumbersome, bureaucratic and time-consuming than anything we have known before. The Government remains firmly committed to the negotiation of a treaty but has a duty to prepare for no treaty at the same time.”