A team from Gibraltar is making the round of British government offices, parliament, friends and supporters to ensure the Rock has a full input into the process triggered by Brexit. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia have met with Conservative and Labour lawmakers and this week visited Downing Street to talk with the UK Government team mapping out the way forward following the result of the Referendum of 23rd June.
A Gibraltar government statement said that although the political situation in UK was very fluid with the possibility that these Ministers may change “it was nonetheless important that Gibraltar has an input into the process at the very outset”.
The meeting was with the UK Government team leader Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Letwin MP, the Minister for Europe David Lidington, as well as a number of officials from different departments including the constitutional section.
The Gibraltar team included Attorney General Michael Llamas and UK Representative Dominique Searle.
The statement said the Gibraltar Government had already made clear that it would leave no stone unturned to protect the wider interests of Gibraltar. “This meeting in Downing Street is part of a series of meetings which are designed to pursue this,” said the statement.
The Gibraltar team also met with Transport Minister Robert Goodwill to address possible consequences of air links as a consequence of Brexit. Another important contact was with Hilary Benn, shadow foreign secretary and Angela Eagle who is challenging for Labour leadership.
Contacts also extended to new friends in Scotland and Northern Ireland, hoping to establish new relationships and alliances. The Gibraltar team anticipated they will also have contact with leaders of other Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies, and with officials in Brussels.
Outgoing PM Cameron anticipated that Gibraltar would be consulted as part of the discussions, however the Rock like Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, want to be fully involved.
In related news six of Gibraltar’s former Governors have written to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond urging him to provide “reassurance and clarification” of British Government policy toward Gibraltar after the Brexit vote.
The letter calls on the British Government to renew its commitment to uphold the sovereignty of Gibraltar in accordance with the wishes of the people of Gibraltar. It also urges the British Government to “make it plain” that the Government of Gibraltar will be invited to participate in the forthcoming negotiations defining the new relationship between the UK – and hence Gibraltar – and the EU.
The former Governors also want London to accept the Chief Minister’s proposal to establish a common and single market between Gibraltar and the UK.
The letter was sent by Lord Luce with the support of Sir David Durie, Sir Francis Richards, Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fulton, Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns and Lieutenant General Sir James Dutton.