Chief Minister Fabian Picardo set out a robust defence of outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday, insisting that she had been steadfast in defence of Gibraltar in the context of Brexit negotiations.
This comes after Mrs May confirmed that her turbulent leadership of the Conservative Party will end on June 7.
A tearful Mrs May said she had “done my best” to get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament and take the UK out of the European Union but acknowledged she had failed.
Reacting to the development, Mr Picardo said: “Theresa May’s dedication to the office Prime Minister, to the United Kingdom and the whole British Family of Nations, including Gibraltar, has been evident in the three turbulent years she has held the highest elected office in Great Britain.”
“When many others would have been cowed by the impossible odds, the daunting headlines and the impenetrable politics of Brexit, she has ploughed on without complaint.”
“When many others would have quit, she has soldiered on.”
“When many others would have been defeated, she survived week after week, month after month, year after year.”
He added: “Whilst many armchair generals stood by to criticise her and her team, none had the courage she had to take on the Commission and the EU27 as she repeatedly has.”
And when it came to Gibraltar, Mr Picardo said: “She was steadfast in our defence and rock solid in her resolve that we would be included in any Withdrawal Agreement that she might finally propose.”
“Her resolve and support gave us the confidence and the ability to negotiate directly with Spain for the first time in our history and to reach landmark, historic agreements for the benefit of our people and our nation.”
“From the moment she was Home Secretary and we first worked together on Gibraltar matters, I have considered Theresa May a friend.”
“I look forward to welcoming her to Gibraltar whenever she wants to visit a nation that will always give her a warm welcome, will always recognise the thankless job she did as Prime Minister and will always remember her as an unwaivering friend.”
“Thank you Prime Minister for a job well done against impossible odds. History will judge you more warmly and positively than today’s fickle headlines,” he added.
“I now look forward to working with Mrs May’s successor to continue to forge an even stronger bond between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.”