Britain’s new Prime Minister makes time for Gibraltar
Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May met Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia yesterday afternoon to discuss Gibraltar, Brexit and Spanish “rhetoric” about the Rock.
The meeting took place in the Prime Minister's Rooms in the House of Commons, which Mrs May had taken possession of just a few moments before.
They agreed Gibraltar would be "fully involved" in the negotiations to withdraw from the EU and would have an input into the discussions through the new unit in the Cabinet Office.
“We have had an excellent early opportunity to meet the new Prime Minister and to put to her Gibraltar's concerns and the economic issues that arise after the EU Referendum,” Mr Picardo said.
“We also discussed some of the rhetoric we are hearing coming from the care-taker Foreign Minister of Spain and the free movement issues that can arise at our frontier.”
During the meeting, Mr Picardo reminded Mrs May that 96% of Gibraltar wanted to remain in the European Union and he explained the challenges ahead for the Rock.
The meeting came ahead of Mrs May’s audience with Her Majesty the Queen in which she was invited to become Prime Minister and form a Government.
It also came straight after David Cameron's last Prime Minister's Question Time which Mr Picardo and Dr Garcia were able to witness from the Commonwealth Gallery inside the Chamber.
The meeting between the new Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister lasted approximately twenty minutes.
In a statement the Gibraltar Government said it was very grateful that Mrs May agreed to the meeting and maintained it despite the important events were happening yesterday.
In attendance with the Gibraltar side were the Attorney General, Michael Llamas QC, and the Rock’s UK Representative, Dominique Searle.
“I am very grateful to the Prime Minister that she allowed us time today on the very day of her appointment, demonstrating her understanding of the importance of the Brexit issue to Gibraltar and the depth of our concerns,” Mr Picardo said.
“Theresa May will no doubt be someone we can work with effectively as we seek to shape our future relationship with the EU in the manner that is most beneficial to Gibraltar and the wishes of the Gibraltarians as expressed so clearly in the Referendum result.”