Deputy chief minister Dr Joseph Garcia paid a two-day visit to Washington this week, meeting Republican and Democratic members of Congress and officials on Capitol Hill, including those involved in foreign relations. Despite it being a whistle stop visit, he was able to hold more than 20 meetings.
Unsurprisingly, many of the questions raised by Congress members were about Brexit and the effect on Gibraltar of Britain leaving the European Union. Dr Garcia, who holds the Brexit portfolio in Gibraltar, explained that the Gibraltar government is engaging in discussions with a number of EU member states, including Spain, is directly involved in all meetings which are relevant to Gibraltar and is positively seeking “solutions which do not cross our red lines”.
The deputy chief minister was also very keen to get one message across to the American representatives: “Gibraltar will not cede an inch of its sovereignty, jurisdiction and control as we prepare to leave the European Union,” he said.
Dr Garcia was also surprised to discover that some US Congress members had been supplied with “inaccurate and factually incorrect” briefing papers about Gibraltar by the Spanish Embassy in Washington, and said he was glad to have had the opportunity to put the record straight.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Sir Joe Bossano, who is now Minister for Economic Development, Telecommunications and the GSB, travelled to Grenada on Monday to speak at the annual seminar of the Third Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. His presentation was also about sovereignty: a follow-up to the one he delivered last year, providing arguments to refute the Spanish presentation that Gibraltar should be decolonised by being handed over to Spain.