“The big difference between Gibraltar and the UK is that Gibraltar has a very clear view of where it needs to be,” said Picardo. “The UK economy is larger and has many more moving pieces, so it’s harder to move from the shock of the morning of the 24th to a clear position which takes into consideration all of those areas.”
Gibraltarians voted by an overwhelming 96 per cent to 4 per cent to stay in the EU – a higher margin than in any other eligible voting district. This has led to speculation that Gibraltar might somehow remain in Europe while maintaining its status as a British Overseas Territory. There is a precedent, of sorts. Greenland, which is, in effect, a Danish overseas territory, voted to leave the EU while still retaining its political links to Denmark.
Picardo has gone so far as to describe a “hard exit” Brexit deal as an “existential threat” to Gibraltar. This is partly because each day thousands of Spanish workers cross into Gibraltar to work; something which may not be tenable if Brexit negotiations bring an end to free movement of labour between the EU and the UK, including any overseas territories.
As it stands it is still possible, and potentially crucial, for British expats to seek financial advice in order to ensure a Gibraltar QROPS, although the continuance of this arrangement is likely to be something that will be up for discussion during Brexit negotiations.