Broad cross-party mix of UK MPs for ‘extra special’ National Day
The Gibraltar Government has invited a cross-party group of 28 Members of Parliament from the UK to the Rock for this year’s “extra-special National Day” marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
The parliamentarians are a mix of Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party, Democratic Unionist, Ulster Unionist, Green Party and UKIP.
In a statement the Gibraltar Government explained that the group includes old friends of Gibraltar and also new ones who have expressed an interest in learning more about the Rock.
A full working programme has been prepared for the group.
This includes a briefing with the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, a Brexit briefing with the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia who is responsible for work related to EU exit, a briefing from the Ministry of Defence and a call on the Governor and the Commander British Forces.
There will also be a technical briefing on financial services matters.
The group of Parliamentarians will also participate in the range of different events that have been prepared around National Day itself and for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
According to the Government there has this year been heightened interest in Gibraltar precisely because of the Brexit background.
In addition to this, the Gibraltar Government representatives in London, Brussels and the United States will also be in Gibraltar.
Dr Garcia said: “The number and cross-party nature of the group of Parliamentarians visiting this time reflects the high level of interest in Gibraltar that exists in the UK Parliament at present.”
“The Government is delighted with the mix of cross-party representation that has been achieved.”
“Gibraltar has friends in all the political parties in the UK and we must build on that going forward. A full programme of briefings has been arranged so that our visitors are made aware directly of the Gibraltar point of view across the board over a number of different issues.”
The visiting MPs include 13 Conservative members, two from Labour, three SNP politicians and two members from the Democratic Unionist Party.
Ms Maria Caulfield, Graham Brady, Nigel Evans, Bob Neill, Kevin Foster, Bob Stewart, Martin Vickers, Glyn Davies, Sheryll Murray, Andrew Rosindell, William Wragg, Alec Shelbrooke, David Morris, Fabian Hamilton, Stephen Hepburn, Drew Hendry, Angus MacNeil, Carol Monaghan, Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley.
From the House of Lords Lord Robathan, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Lord Beith, Baroness Harris and Lord Rogan.
There are also three visiting MEPs including Julia Reid, Molly Scott Cato and Clare Moody.
Photo by David Parody