ACCORDING to a press release issued by the government of Gibraltar on February 5, the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC, and the Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia, have held a series of useful and productive meetings in London during a visit which lasted just three days .
Their programme included meetings with the Minister for Europe, David Lidington, and the Minister for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt. There was also a six hour session with officials at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on a wide range of matters affecting Gibraltar at which the
Attorney General, Michael Llamas, was also present.
The visit to London coincided with the publication by the European Commission of the Draft Decision of the Heads of Government concerning a New Settlement for the United Kingdom with the European Union. This created considerable interest with the media on the position of Gibraltar with regard to the referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union. The Chief Minister was able to put across the Gibraltar point of view to a number of media outlets including the BBC and Sky News.
The EU Referendum was also discussed with the Minister for Europe, David Lidington, as were a number of other EU matters affecting Gibraltar. This was the first meeting with Mr Lidington since the general election in Gibraltar at the end of last year.
On the agenda for the meetings with Penny Mordaunt were matters affecting the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Spanish incursions into territorial waters and how best to approach the conclusion of the Global Agreement in 2017. It was agreed that officials from both Governments would work together to produce options on how to implement any changes to the MOD workforce after that time in Gibraltar in an collaborative and equitable manner. A preliminary report is expected within 60 days and wider consultation will follow.