HMGOG has today welcomed the inclusion of a new UK Financial Services Bill (‘the Bill’) as one of 26 items of legislation listed in Her Majesty The Queen’s Speech earlier today.
The explanatory notes accompanying the Queen’s speech provide that the Bill will ‘ensure that the UK maintains its world-leading regulatory standards and remains open to international markets after we leave the EU.’ It further provides that one of the main elements of the Bill is to deliver on the British Government’s ‘commitment for long-term market access to the UK for financial services firms in Gibraltar as part of the UK family.’
Commenting on the inclusion of the Bill in the Queen’s Speech, Caretaker Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo said: “I am delighted by the inclusion of the Financial Services Bill in the Queen’s Speech given that it encapsulates the very significant dividends that the work of the Gibraltar Government has secured for Gibraltar in the Brexit context. The work done by Deputy Chief Minister, Hon Dr Joseph Garcia and Hon Albert Isola, as well as the excellent team of Senior Civil Servants, namely the Attorney General, Financial Secretary and Chief Secretary, as well as Finance Centre Director Jimmy Tipping, amongst others, as part of our efforts to promote the interests of Gibraltar in this critical context, has reaped many benefits, of which the UK Financial Services Bill is an emphatic and clear win. It sets out a bespoke arrangement for Gibraltar only that will endure well beyond Brexit and which will be unique to Gibraltar.”
He continued: “The recognition of the British Government of the unique nature of our relationship with the UK as compared with that of the Crown Dependencies and all other British Overseas Territories is a validation of the efforts of the Gibraltar Government as well as of its strategy to pursue an ever closer relationship within the bounds of our constitution.”
“The Bill guarantees for Gibraltar the continued market access on a bilaterally agreed basis between Gibraltar and the UK in a way that will not restrict Gibraltar’s regulatory autonomy in financial services. The UK and Gibraltar currently have reciprocal market access for financial services and, as the UK and Gibraltar both leave the EU together, the Financial Services Bill is the mechanism through which the relationship, unique in the context of other CDOTs, will be maintained.
“This is HUGE news and must be very, very welcome by everyone in our economy. I also expect that we will soon sign a Double Taxation Agreement with the United Kingdom. I expect it will be one of the first acts we will seek to deliver on immediately after the election. All the preliminary work has been done and finalised.”