AN ALMOST unbelievably hectic programme of thirty engagements and meetings in two days for the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, in Brussels ended with a call on the British representation to the European Union, UKREP, and a meeting with the UK Deputy Permanent Representative, Shan Morgan.
Earlier, the Deputy Chief Minister also took the opportunity of the visit to Brussels to meet with the representative offices of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In three separate meetings, Dr Garcia discussed the coming referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union or should leave.
It was very useful to learn more about how each of the offices operate in Brussels and to better understand the referendum from the perspective of the three devolved administrations.
Dr Garcia was able to update the EU Commissioner for Migration and Border Management, Dimitris Avramopoulos, on the latest developments at the Gibraltar-Spain land frontier. This follows the three inspection visits to the border by a European Commission monitoring team the last of which was in October 2015.
The visits resulted in a series of recommendations to Gibraltar and to Spain which were designed to improve border fluidity. Dr Garcia made the point that the border is still not working as well as it should with intermittent disproportionate delays.
One particularly useful meeting must have been that with Conservative MEP Ashley Fox who amongst others represents South West of England and Gibraltar in the European Parliament. He has already come out strongly in support of the Cameron deal with the EU and will be campaigning for the UK and Gibraltar to remain within the Union.