Cameron stands by Gib and vows: "I'll be back."
Prime Minister David Cameron last night vowed to return to Gibraltar, as he underscored his commitment to always stand up for the Rock.
In a recorded address for the people of Gibraltar, Mr Cameron said he wanted to return to the Rock because he admired this community, its achievements and its positive commitment to the EU.
The Prime Minister cancelled a planned EU rally in Gibraltar last week after the brutal killing of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Mr Cameron had arrived in Gibraltar but the tragic developments in the UK meant there was no option but to cancel the event and suspend all campaigning.
He left the Rock after holding meetings with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and discussing key issues relating to Gibraltar.
“First of all I wanted to say I have always stood up for Gibraltar and I always will as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. That is my guarantee to you,” he said.
Mr Cameron also spoke of his admiration for Gibraltar and all that has been achieved here over the last few years, particularly in turning an economy that was dominated by the Ministry of Defence’s spending into one of the most “vibrant and successful” in Europe.
He said both Britain and Gibraltar will be "stronger, safer and better off" staying in the European Union, adding that he understood how crucial remaining in the EU was for the Rock’s continued economic success, security and prosperity.
“I will come back, one day, and make, maybe not that speech, maybe another speech instead, because I do admire what you’ve done. I’m proud of Gibraltar, proud of what you are and I want to make sure we keep Britain and we keep Gibraltar inside a reformed European Union," he said.
Reacting to the Mr Cameron’s speech, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “The Prime Minister has made clear how much Gibraltar matters to him.”
“He has been clear about his wish to return to Gibraltar. The tragic circumstances of last week have not deprived us of his message and will not deprive us of his presence. I look forward to welcoming him again to Gibraltar one day in the near future,” he said.
Mr Cameron’s presence in Gibraltar last week, while not what had been expected, was still an unprecedented, landmark event in Gibraltar’s modern history.
As Mr Cameron himself pointed out, Gibraltar had not had a visit from a British Prime Minister since 1967, when Labour’s Harold Wilson held talks with Rhodesia’s Prime Minister, Ian Smith, on board Royal Navy ships berthed in Gibraltar.