Britain and Spain reach a post-Brexit deal on Gibraltar, providing a ‘win-win’ situation for both countries and the gaming industry as it becomes part of the Schengen Area
As Britain and the EU finalise the Brexit regulation set in place, British and Spanish authorities have formed a ‘political framework’ that has become the foundation of a Gibraltar-specific treaty between both territories. The news was announced by Spain’s foreign minister last week and is expected to be beneficial for the free movement of people given Gibraltar becomes a Schengen Area and gambling industry is expected to thrive.
“We have reached an agreement in principle with the United Kingdom that will lay the groundwork for a new relationship,” Spain’s Foreign minister González Laya announced at a press conference.
Arancha Gonzalez Laya assured that Spain will have significant more control over Gibraltar due to the new post-Brexit deal. Border access has been one of the most controversial points of the new agreement. Under the new deal, Gibraltar will become a Schengen area. For the gaming industry, this is essential as thousand of Spanish workers commute to Gibraltar for work. This new development has been considered as a big step for the small island and would enable Gibraltar to have some independence.
González Laya commented:
With this [agreement], the fence is removed, Schengen is applied to Gibraltar… it allows for the lifting of controls between Gibraltar and Spain,
According to Andrew Lyman, executive director at the government of Gibraltar – gambling division, the agreement would become a catalyst for gambling expansion in Gibraltar. He also argues that it would lead to major growth of the local economy, according to an interview with CasinoBeats.
Lyman comments on the potential benefits for the gaming industry being part of the important free movement zone to protect cross-border businesses with Spain – the Schengen Area:
One of the key risks was the prospect of reduced border fluidity; making it difficult for operators to recruit and retain cross border workers. With access to Schengen and improved air links, Gibraltar will become even more attractive for entrepreneurs, senior gaming executives and high net worth individuals. These are the individuals who anchor businesses in Gibraltar and bring new business to the jurisdiction.
Over time, Gibraltar has mastered the skill to be autonomous, self-reliant and able to adapt to a changing environment. This according to Lyman has afforded the territory the advantage of being ‘extremely flexible.’
Gibraltar is not going to reduce its attractiveness to the business whilst at the same time remaining a jurisdiction which commands international respect and full UK support. It also wants to continue to build a close relationship with the EU. I am very optimistic about the future.
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