As the EU referendum becomes a major focus of media attention, journalists from across Europe are looking at Gibraltar as a unique participant in the British poll, a Government spokesman said. The only polling stations outside the United Kingdom will be in Gibraltar – and time-zone differences mean they will open an hour before those in UK.
“The media have also realised that the issues facing Gibraltar in the context of the referendum are different to those facing the UK, and there has been a stream of journalists asking to interview the Chief Minister,” said a Government statement.
The Chief Minister has been interviewed in London by the BBC Daily Politics Show and by Sky News. In Gibraltar he has already been interviewed by BBC World Service radio and included on the BBC’s online magazine. He has also given interviews to the Press Association and to Agence France-Presse .
Mr Picardo’s piece in The Times last week was followed by an editorial column in the same newspaper and on Friday last week, the influential Bloomberg website carried an article in which the Chief Minister was quoted.
“There is now an ever-lengthening queue of journalists waiting to speak to the Chief Minister on the subject of the referendum and the possible impacts on Gibraltar. As 23rd June approaches it is likely that, increasingly, Gibraltar will feature across the front pages of the European media,” added the spokesman who said the Government welcomed this heightened interest in Gibraltar in the months leading up to the Referendum “which presents us with a historical decision to make that will affect Gibraltar, the UK and Europe as a whole”.
The Chief Minister said the Government had made it very clear “that we are advocating a vote to remain in Europe, and will be actively campaigning towards this in the lead-up to the June 23rd Referendum. This is not a party-political issue and I am pleased that Gibraltar’s entire political spectrum has come out in support of the Stay IN Europe campaign. As Chief Minister, I will of course be actively lobbying both locally and internationally, and welcome the heightened media interest in the unique consequences that, potentially, the Referendum may have for us here in Gibraltar. Clearly Europe is as interested in us as we are in Europe.”