Insurance Post Brexit
The Government has introduced new legislation to permit EEA insurers to continue to provide specified insurance policies to the Gibraltar market after the end of the EU transition period.
Albert Isola MP, Gibraltar’s Minister for Digital and Financial Services stated “The new regulations will enable EEA insurers to continue to provide insurance services to Gibraltar businesses and indi- viduals in 2021.
We have agreed that whilst EEA insurers can continue to provide insurance cover they must work with a Gibraltar insurance intermediary. The regulations have been introduced to ensure we main- tain competition and consumer choice in Gibraltar. During 2021 a long-term legal framework for EEA insurers will replace these temporary arrangements.”
UK insurance companies and intermediaries do, of course, have the right to continue business on the Rock.
UK Parliament Financial Services Bill
The UK Financial Services Bill had its Second Reading debate in the UK House of Commons on 9th November, and is being scrutinised in a Public Bill Committee.
As part of that level of scrutiny, the Minister for Financial Services for HM Government of Gibraltar, the Hon Albert Isola gave evidence to the Committee.
Questions focused on the Gibraltar Authorisation Regime which is contained within the Bill. As the United Kingdom and Gibraltar will no longer be subject to EU arrangements from 31 December 2020, the Bill establishes a new Gibraltar Authorisation Regime to allow financial services firms based in Gibraltar to continue to offer regulated activities in the UK.
The Bill sets out arrangements for implementing and running the new regime, which is based on compliance with the objectives of the Bill, alignment of law and regulatory oversight in both jurisdictions, and cooperation between parties on both sides.
Sovereign Guarantee Announced
The UK Government has agreed to provide HM Government of Gibraltar with a loan guarantee for lending up to £500m.
Gibraltar is the first such Overseas Territory to take this course of action, in light of the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.
The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP said, “I warmly welcome the support for Gibraltar that this sovereign guarantee represents.
“I want to specifically thank the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary for their understanding and support in these difficult times.
“This guarantee is the result of the work which started when I spoke at length to Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, late in the evening of the 19th March this year. At that very early stage, pre-lockdown, he understood how the COVID pandemic was likely to affect our finances and was quickly running with the need for support that Gibraltar was going to need.
“This is excellent news and I am delighted to be able to inform the community of this massive show of support from the United Kingdom at this difficult time.”
House Of Lords Brexit Questions
Lord Kinnoull, Chair of the European Union Committee, has recently written to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP regarding the provisions made available to the British Overseas Territories regarding Brexit. Gibraltar has an additional, specific special report, but the reply to this particular letter should be available around the time of going to press.
Sister Cities Meeting
After celebrating the start of their Sister City relationship in September 2020, Raleigh and Gibraltar elected officials connected via Zoom, discussing pandemic-related legislative challenges, transportation needs, and a mutual lifelong desire to serve the communities they represent.
The Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port in Gibraltar, the Hon Vijay Daryanani expressed that he was optimistic that 2021 will see Gibraltar return to a bustling city center, full of pedestrians and cyclists, along with cruise ship visitors making their stop at the Port. Prior to the COVID pandemic the cruise ship traffic in the Port of Gibraltar averaged 230+ visits annually and the Minister is positive that when the pandemic ends, Gibraltar will be able to adapt very quickly to a different situation.
James Lasry, President of Amcham Gibraltar commented “Sister Cities Gibraltar strives to build meaningful partnerships with Raleigh and its citizens, highlighting each location’s commitment to education, innovation, sustainability, and diversity. In the coming months, events will include Gibraltar Week, virtual events with local stakeholders.
Minister for Tourism and Transport, the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP said: “I was delighted to be able to participate in a virtual meeting, organised by AmCham Gibraltar through its affiliate Sister Cities Gibraltar, with Council Member Jonathan Melton from Raleigh City Council. We exchanged views on tourism, transport and related matters and I look forward to future collaborations with the city of Raleigh, post COVID.”