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Excellent. Brief and yet challengingly broad. In Gibraltar, a considerable portion of our workforce commutes daily into the territory (12-15,000 per day). We can only stock up what our limited space allows (the Rock occupies the most space). We have anticipated the potential for delays at the border, and we have Morocco only 10 miles away. There is considerable experience of a closed border which happened 30 years ago, but no-one then measured the impact on mental health, on economic activity, nor on wellbeing in general. We would not now have the UK to assist, given the supply challenges described. As a "tiger" economy, we have avoided austerity, but that would make the impact of a falling Sterling much bigger. In addition, we are helpless bystanders in a drama that is unfolding against our expressed desires (like Scotland and Northern Ireland, the majority voted against Brexit). This inevitably has an impact on attitudes and general resilience within the population.
Around a quarter of our children aged 12 and above expressed severe concern about Brexit (in Mar-May 2019 survey of all schools). One can only imagine what it might be like now. The impact of adverse childhood experiences on later life, including social, mental and physical outcomes is well documented, and I suspect that there is a significant impact on ACEs as a result of Brexit (no deal or otherwise) which our children are also helpless bystanders of.
No competing interests
29 August 2019
Sohail Sharif Bhatti
Director of Public Health
Gibraltar Health Authority
St Bernard's Hospital, Gibraltar Health Authority, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA