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UK Europe minister Lidington toured Gibraltar/Spain border with Picardo

Tuesday, July 1st 2014 - 23:48 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Lidington's visit comes ahead of a second inspection by a team of EC officials Lidington's visit comes ahead of a second inspection by a team of EC officials

Britain’s Europe Minister David Lidington toured the Gibraltar border on Monday evening and received an on-the-spot briefing from Chief Minister Fabian Picardo on the human impact of Spanish controls.

 Picardo also explained the changes that Gibraltar has put in place in line with the recommendations made by the European Commission last year.

Predictably perhaps, there were no queues Monday evening and the only delay to commuters was when police here held back traffic while the minister was in the area.

Minister Lidington did not speak to reporters though he was heard asking numerous questions to better understand the detail of what happens at the border.

Immediately after the visit he tweeted: “Pleased to be back in #Gibraltar. Looking fwd to detailed discussion of current issues with @FabianPicardo”. Lidington’s trip to Gibraltar comes ahead of a second inspection by a team of EC officials who will visit both sides of the border to review progress with their recommendations.

Lidington arrived in Gibraltar six hours later than expected after the British Airways flight he was on suffered mechanical problems in the air and had to turn back to Heathrow. A number of events were cancelled as a result, including a reception at the Garrison Library in the afternoon.

On landing at 5.35pm Monday, Mr Lidington was whisked to The Convent, where he met with the Governor, Sir James Dutton. Outside, a small group of protestors stood behind banners calling for tougher action from the UK and shouted out at the minister, who ignored them and stepped directly into the Governor’s residence.

The UK minister then attended a reception hosted by Sir James in honor of local athletes heading to the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, before moving on to the border. On Monday night he attended a working dinner with senior ministers and officials from the Gibraltar Government, a chance to catch up on the business that should have been conducted earlier in the day.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    So glad the Spanish borders guards got off their arses and swept and cleared the cobwebs out.

    Jul 02nd, 2014 - 01:44 am 0
  • aussiesunshinee

    oh dear!! six hours late!! not the British way to keep Mr Picardo waiting.....
    Like I said he inspected the place..had dinner..and back to the UK.....

    Jul 02nd, 2014 - 07:26 am 0
  • Be serious

    UK must veto Spain's application to join UN Security Council. Such a Country has no place at the top table of World affairs.

    Jul 02nd, 2014 - 07:43 am 0
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