The Gibraltar Stronger in Europe campaign launched with the leaders of the Rock’s three political parties pledging their support for the cause.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and leader of the Opposition Daniel Feetham all attended the launch outside the Parliament building along with Gemma Vasquez, who leads the campaign.
Speaking at the launch Mr Picardo said: “The ‘In’ campaign can count on my support and voters should listen very carefully to the arguments that are going to be put between now and the date of the referendum by Gemma Vasquez and her board for the ‘In’.”
Both Dr Garcia and Mr Feetham, meanwhile, called for Gibraltarians to make the use of the opportunity to vote in the referendum.
“It is in Gibraltar’s interests to remain a part of the European Union. We are very grateful to have been included in the United Kingdom’s referendum on the subject and it’s very important that every single person turns out to vote,” Dr Garcia said.
“We cannot take any vote for granted; it could be a very tight contest in the UK and it is possible that the 20,000 odd votes from Gibraltar will make a difference.”
He added that it was in Gibraltar’s economic and political interests to remain in the EU.
“The most important message for voters in Gibraltar, I think, is that it is important for them to come out to vote and I think this is just as important as the 1967 referendum and just as important as the joint sovereignty referendum in 2002,” Mr Feetham said.
He said that the vote would have important implications for jobs, businesses and how far Gibraltar can complain in the future to the United Kingdom if it is left out of any European measures.
“Imagine if we had a situation where there was a very poor turnout here in Gibraltar and then we went to the UK in the future and said we want to be included within the air liberalisation treaties, for example, the UK could say ‘are your people interested, look at the turnout’.”
“Turnout is important it’s the message that a large turnout sends to Europe and the UK,” Mr Feetham said.
The local campaign is the official partner of ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ and has set up its premises opposite the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned.