British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to return to Gibraltar, as he underscored his commitment to always stand up for the Rock. In a recorded address for the people of Gibraltar, PM Cameron said he wanted to return to the Rock because he admired this community, its achievements and its positive commitment to the EU.
The Prime Minister cancelled a planned EU rally in Gibraltar last week after the brutal killing of Labour MP Jo Cox. MP Cameron had arrived in Gibraltar but the tragic developments in the UK meant there was no option but to cancel the event and suspend all campaigning. He left the Rock after holding meetings with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and discussing key issues relating to Gibraltar.
“First of all I wanted to say I have always stood up for Gibraltar and I always will as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. That is my guarantee to you,” he said.
Mr Cameron also spoke of his admiration for Gibraltar and all that has been achieved over the last few years, particularly in turning an economy that was dominated by the Ministry of Defence’s spending into one of the most “vibrant and successful” in Europe.
He said both Britain and Gibraltar will be “stronger, safer and better off” staying in the European Union, adding that he understood how crucial remaining in the EU was for the Rock’s continued economic success, security and prosperity.
Transcript of the message below:
I’m so sorry that I wasn’t able to make the speech that I planned in Gibraltar. I know you all understand the very good reasons why, but I wanted to come to Gibraltar not least because you haven’t had a visit from a British Prime Minister since 1967 when I was just 1 year old, and there are things that I wanted to say.
First of all I wanted to say I have always stood up for Gibraltar and I always will. As the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, that is my guarantee to you.
The second thing I wanted to say is how much I admire what you have achieved in Gibraltar over these last years. You’ve taken an economy that was dominated by the Ministry Of Defence and spending and turned it into one of the most vibrant and successful in Europe and I admire that.
But I also want to come to talk about this vital European Referendum. I know how strongly you feel about it in Gibraltar because you know that it's so crucial to your continued economic success, security and prosperity and I wanted to say I understand that and I believe it’s so vital for Britain too. I believe we’ll be stronger, we’ll be safer, we’ll be better off if we stay and I think the economic reasons that you believe in so strongly are economic reasons that we should believe in strongly in the United Kingdom too.
I wanted to come to Gibraltar and make the speech in Gibraltar because it should remind Britain of our wider responsibilities, our wider role in making this argument. I believe the key to this referendum is the word ‘’together’’ because frankly, together we will always be safer. We’ll be better at fighting terrorism, we’ll be more able together to create jobs and opportunities for our children and grandchildren. Ours is a positive case about Britain’s future in Europe and Gibraltar’s future in Europe too.
I will come back, one day and make, maybe not that speech, and make another speech instead, because I do admire what you have done. I’m proud of Gibraltar. I’m proud of what you are and I want to make sure we keep Britain and we keep Gibraltar inside a reformed European Union. Thank you.