Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has accused “Gibraltar-loving Tory MPs of putting their Euroscepticism before his people’s best interests by backing Brexit”.
In an article, carried in today’s Daily Mail, he suggests it is not “compatible” to be a “real friend” of the overseas territory and vote to force it out of the EU against its will. His comments were made to the Press Association and reported in the newspaper.
PA reported that the Chief Minister had accused the UK Government of leaving The Rock in the lurch by refusing to conduct any contingency planning in the event of a Leave vote in the referendum.
“Mr Picardo is pushing to highlight to UK voters what he believes would be the disastrous consequences for his country of withdrawal from the EU, with Spain ‘ready to pounce’,” it read.
The Chief Minister told the Press Association there was “no doubt that we would be worse off outside the European Union” and he was “not in the business of risking Gibraltar’s continued economic prosperity”.
“I ask them to think very carefully about what they are doing and how that could reflect on Gibraltar. To such a extent that I wonder if it is compatible to be in favour of Brexit and call yourself a real friend of Gibraltar. I say that advisedly.
“I know that Andrew (Rosindell) and others have been great friends of Gibraltar and I know that they feel great friends of Gibraltar. We consider them friends too.
“But the consequences of Brexit are so potentially dangerous to Gibraltar and the risks to which we will be exposed are so huge that I think if you really put on your thinking cap for Gibraltar, you would only come to the conclusion that Brexit is an unnecessary risk to take.”