The Gibraltar Government has batted away the call from the GSD for a Brexit strategy that is ‘as simple as possible’, describing it as “so one-dimensional that it is unhelpful to Gibraltar’s cause”.
Gibraltar’s approach to the extremely complex situation in which we find ourselves must be multi-faceted and comprehensive in order to reach the best possible outcome for the future, No. 6 Convent Place countered in a statement.
It added that the only constructive suggestions for a Brexit strategy that have been offered by the Opposition are for policies and approaches that the Government is already pursuing.
“Following the Opposition’s tenuous and unfounded implications to the contrary, the Government feels it necessary to clarify that the Chief Minister has not called for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.”
Despite that 96% of Gibraltarian voters voted to remain in Europe, the democratic decision of the British people must be respected, and the democratic result of the 23rd June referendum cannot be undone, No. 6 said.
“However, considering that the terms of a Brexit are still unknown, it could be possible to hold a new referendum on the deal that Britain is able to negotiate for Brexit and its future relationship with the EU.”
The Government said it is “absolutely committed” to ensuring that the democratic decisions and rights of the people of British Gibraltar are also respected.
It added that it has been working tirelessly to ensure that Gibraltar’s voice is heard and the Gibraltar position is understood amongst key decision-makers.
This commitment is reflected in the appointment of the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, as Minister for Brexit: a completely new portfolio, No. 6 said.
“Indeed, Brexit poses an unprecedented challenge not just for Britain but for the whole of Europe, and Gibraltar’s response in reaching for a solution must be measured and nuanced.”
“It is tactless, insensitive and unseemly for the Opposition to try to undermine these efforts as ‘whimsical schemes’.”
“Whenever the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and other representatives of the Government travel for meetings and conferences, host them at home or put forward the Gibraltar position on Brexit in the local and international media, the Government sends a very strong and very serious message about the democratically expressed wishes and rights of the people of Gibraltar as to what our future to look like.”
There are, the Government said, “uncertain, challenging and extremely important times” ahead.
It added that whilst Gibraltar’s overwhelming vote to remain gives the government a very strong mandate to make its case for Gibraltar’s involvement in any negotiations that Britain undertakes, it also brought the eyes and scrutiny of the international media upon the Rock.
The Government said it is committed to continuing to work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome from this ‘extremely complex situation’ for Gibraltar.
It added: “It is about time that the Opposition take this seriously and stop attempting to undermine these efforts.”