A resolution tabled before the United States House of Representatives recognising the right of the people of Gibraltar to determine their own future now has 47 supporters, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia announced to members of the Gibraltar-American Council in New York, who welcomed the news with applause.
Congressman and long-time friend of Gibraltar, George Holding, tabled the Resolution before the lower chamber of the US Congress, and states that the views and rights of Gibraltarians should always be imperative in any discussion of Gibraltar’s status as a British Overseas Territory.
The Resolution has been tabled three times but such resolutions are time-barred and on both previous occasions the deadline expired with the end of each session of Congress.
The Resolution, which started with six supporters, has gradually been amassing support with both Republicans and Democrats.
Among those who have signed up to the resolution in Congress are the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
These 47 supporters acknowledge the special relationship that exists between the United Kingdom and the United States but also between Gibraltar and the US, Dr Garcia told Council Members on Tuesday.
He explained that in addition to that aspect of lobbying work, the Gibraltar Government has engaged with the Trump administration in Washington and as part of that engagement three congressmen visited the Rock during the course of 2017.
Addressing a meeting of the Council in New York the day after the Chief Minister’s speech to the United Nations, Dr Garcia updated members on the current state of play in respect of Brexit, the empanelling of a new socialist Spanish Government in Madrid and on events the day before at the United Nations Committee of 24.
Dr Garcia was joined by academic and legal advisor to the Gibraltar Government Dr Jamie Trinidad.
The Gibraltar delegation was welcomed by Tobie Roosevelt and Gibraltar’s US representative, David Guerrero Liston.
The meeting was attended by around thirty members of the Council and included those with familial and business connections to Gibraltar, as well as those who are simply interested in the Rock’s history and its links to the US.
Reflecting on the previous day’s events at the C24, Dr Garcia told members that the tone of the speech delivered by Deputy Spanish Ambassador to the UN was significantly more restrained than it has been in previous years.
“We don’t know whether that is a reflection of the new Spanish Government that is now in office or whether they simply didn’t have time to coordinate a position,” Dr Garcia said.
“So we need to wait and see.”
Gibraltar’s US representative welcomed the briefing on the latest developments affecting the Rock.
“I am so glad that this went so well but I’m not surprised,” Mr Guerrero Liston told the Chronicle.
“The members of the Gibraltar-American Council deeply believe in Gibraltar’s right to self-determination, they believe in the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the US, they understand how significant Gibraltar’s role is and contributions are to that special relationship.”
He added: “Given what’s happening with Brexit, given the ongoing issues with Spain, given what happened yesterday at the UN, given what’s happening on Capitol Hill, this was the perfect time to have this meeting.”
“I’m just so grateful to all the members of the Council for being here.”
Senior reporter Cristina Cavilla reporting from New York