surinenglish

House of Lords expresses strong support for Gibraltar post-Brexit

One meeting was with Sir Alan Duncan, Minister for Europe.
One meeting was with Sir Alan Duncan, Minister for Europe. / SUR
  • On behalf of the British government, Baroness Goldie said economic bonds with the UK would be strengthened and maintained

Chief minister Fabian Picardo and deputy chief minister Dr Joseph García were in London on Tuesday for meetings and for the evening debate in the House of Lords about the impact which Brexit is likely to have on Gibraltar.

Afterwards, the Gibraltar government issued a statement saying it welcomed the "chorus of support" from peers from all political parties.

There were 18 contributions to the debate, which was opened by Committee Chairman Lord Boswell of Aynho, including strong backing from former Governor Lord Luce and long-time supporters Lord Hoyle (Labour) and Lord Chidgey (Liberal Democrats). In her response on behalf of the British government, Baroness Goldie reaffirmed that the economic bonds between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar would be strengthened and maintained after exit from the European Union.

Picardo said afterwards that the session had been deeply important for Gibraltar and that the committee had done a huge service in the timely preparation of their report. "To have secured a debate on that report a week before the formal Article 50 Notice is given, I think, is hugely beneficial to Gibraltar and has been enormously helpful in demonstrating the depth of support that Gibraltar now enjoys from all sides of the House, including the central, crossbench, peers who have demonstrated they care about our rights in this process. I am also very grateful for the response of Her Majesty's Government, which has been unequivocal. I think this has been the first time a Chief Minister and his team has been invited to attend and sit below the bar in the House of Lords and I am very proud for all of Gibraltar that this has been the case," he said.

"I am very grateful indeed to all of their Lordships who supported Gibraltar in the report of the Brexit Select Committee and who last night orchestrated a chorus of support for Gibraltar and its people in this important and timely debate. It is at times of challenge that friendships are forged, and we can see our long-term friends continuing staunch in our support and new friends also flocking to Gibraltar's cause, which are silver linings in these times," he concluded.