Gib needs ‘clear voice’ in UK over Brexit
A key task of the All Party Parliamentary Group Gibraltar will be to ensure that the Rock’s concerns and priorities are kept central to the UK Government's Brexit negotiations, new Chairman of the Group Bob Neill has said.
As reported by the Gibraltar Chronicle yesterday, Mr Neill has taken up the mantle of chairmanship of the Group.
This follows the reconstitution of the group following the dissolution of Parliament in the lead up to the UK general election.
“I am very much looking forward to the challenge,” Mr Neill told the Chronicle.
The Tory MP has been a regular visitor to Gibraltar over the years; he has made many friends here and has a very strong personal attachment and commitment to the Rock.
Mr Neill takes over the role, from former Chairman Brexiteer Jack Lopresti, at an interesting and simultaneously challenging time politically with Brexit on the horizon.
In the lead up to Brexit, the APPGG’s key task will be to make sure that Gibraltar's concerns and priorities are clearly voiced in the UK Parliament and are kept central to the UK Government's negotiations.
“The Prime Minister has promised that the Gibraltar Government will be fully involved in work of our negotiating team and we intend to make sure that this happens in practice at a technical as well as political level.”
“To that end, we already raise issues of concern with Ministers direct, as well as in debates, questions and in the UK media,” he said.
“I have already had one to one meetings with the Prime Minister and her key cabinet colleagues in the Brexit related Departments - Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox to raise Gibraltar specific points.”
“We are also working closely with the Gibraltar Government office in London to keep Parliamentarians of all Parties fully briefed on Gibraltar issues- not just on Brexit but also on issues such as Defence, the repeated illegal incursions of Spanish state vessels, and the broader Gibraltar economy.”
Asked about his relationship with the Gibraltar Government Mr Neill said: “I, and all the officers of our group have a very good and constructive relationship with the Gibraltar Government, and with Gibraltar Parliamentarians across the political divide.”
“On a personal level, from my own former career as a Barrister, I have lots of friends and contacts in Gibraltar's legal and business community.”
“Like many Gibraltar lawyers and Judges, I am a member of the Middle Temple Inn of Court in London, of which, like Chief Justice Anthony Dudley and Mrs Karen Ramagge Prescott, I have the honour of being a Master of the Bench.”