Wednesday, June 01, 2005

IWBM Welcome French ‘No’ vote to Euro Constitution

Integration With Britain Movement (IWBM) has welcomed the result of the French negative vote in the European Constitution referendum at the weekend and called on local politicians to modify the Rock’s status in the EU.

Meanwhile the IWBM has declared it wants Gibraltar to be classified as an EU overseas territory, rather than its current consideration as mainland Britain for EU purposes, “to overcome the great hurdle faced by the finance centre.” IWBM chairman Joe Caruana said:

“We welcome the big ‘Non’ by the French people to the proposed new EU Constitution.
This Constitution, in our opinion, embraced many potential political traps for Gibraltar, we are glad these threats may be removed or put in cold storage for a very long time.

Furthermore we hope that our politicians will take advantage of this breathing space and start pressing UK to modify Gibraltar’s definition within the EU, since our present EU status is unsatisfactory.

In particular we urge that Government will push for Gibraltar to be classified as an Overseas Territory, and included under Annex 1 and 2 of the proposed Constitution.

For a long time Gibraltar has been a “ British Overseas Territory”, but for EU purposes we are part of the mainland.

All other European Overseas Territory, including the Virgin Islands and Bermuda, the Azores and Canary Islands would receive special fiscal and customs treatment in the EU. However Gibraltar is receiving restrictions and curtailment in this area.

Our proposal is that Gibraltar should be included into the EU overseas category, while being an overseas region of the UK, with full political representation, appropriately applied, in the UK parliament, just like so many other EU overseas territories.

This formula would solve the great hurdle faced by the local Finance Centre, under present circumstances.”

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