This year we celebrate national day against the backdrop of the EU referendum result. A referendum that was described by the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, as an “existential choice”. In Gibraltar it was described across the political spectrum as “existential to our current economic model”.
I have no doubt, that despite the difficulties which we will undoubtedly face, the people of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, have the resilience, the tenacity and the intelligent innovation, which are the hallmarks of the British people, to prosper in a post BREXIT situation.
The GSD remains positive in our ability to adapt and thrive. A positivity that will extend to not publicly knocking down potential avenues and solution explored or suggested by the Government, whatever our views on their prospects, provided they are designed to ensure that this community continues to prosper. Of course we will be realistic and offer the Government any advice or counsel we feel is appropriate, but we will do so constructively and with the best intentions. It is always easier to criticise and destroy; that will not be the GSD way. We will always put the well being of our country above narrow party political considerations.
While the referendum result was not as we would have wished, it did send a clear message internationally and, in particular, to those in Madrid who might wish to divide Gibraltar in a crisis, that when faced with existential threats, the people of Gibraltar will close ranks and will never be divided or found wanting.
In that context I want to reiterate that no amount of pressure from Sr. Margallo or anyone else, will persuade us to accept joint sovereignty. The GSD would fight joint sovereignty tooth and nail, just as we did in 2002, because the homeland of the Gibraltarian people, the land in which our forefathers (our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters) are buried is not for sale and not for sale at any price.
Have a happy National Day