Constitutional development is “a one way road” toward greater emancipation for the people of Gibraltar “short of independence”, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said this week as he looked ahead to a review of the 2006 Constitution marking its tenth anniversary next year.
Along with the UK’s referendum on EU membership, the constitutional review will dominate much of parliamentary and political activity during 2016 and likely into 2017.
A select committee of the Gibraltar Parliament will be set up next year to analyse various aspects of the 2006 Constitution ahead of a constitutional conference with the United Kingdom on a date yet to be determined.
If any changes are proposed as a result of the review, they will first have to be put to a referendum before they can be adopted.
One key aim of the review is to ensure that Gibraltar’s constitution properly reflects the Rock’s evolving relationship with Britain.
But underlying the process is also the question of Gibraltar’s removal from the UN’s list of territories still to be decolonised.
“My view is that the 2006 Constitution has served Gibraltar well for the past 10 years, but that we need to keep in mind that [it] is relevant to the process of decolonisation and Gibraltar has not yet been decolonised in international legal terms,” Mr Picardo said.
In that respect, “…the Constitution should not be a bar to that process being successfully undertaken.”
“I don’t think anybody in Gibraltar wants independence but I think most of us do agree that we want to be taken off the list that gives Spain the opportunity to raise Gibraltar at the United Nations on a yearly basis.”
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