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Gibraltar commences EU referendum legislation

EU and UK flags fly above the EU Commission offices in Westminster, London. David Cameron is making final efforts to bolster support for his proposed European Union reforms before a crunch summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 17 2016. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The legislative framework for Gibraltar to participate in the UK's referendum on whether it stays or leaves the European Union is now operational.

The Gibraltar Government has confirmed that the final steps were taken with the publication, last Friday, of the notice of commencement of the European Union (Referendum) Act 2016 and ancillary subsidiary legislation and the relevant legislation in the UK.

By so doing, Chief Minister' Fabian Picardo’s commitment to Prime Minister David Cameron that Gibraltar would follow the timescales set by the UK Government has been satisfied, the Government said.

“It gives me great pride that officials from both administrations have worked closely over the past months to enable Gibraltar to participate in a referendum which, whatever the outcome, will define the UK's relationship with Europe for many years to come,” Mr Picardo said.

“I am especially pleased that the Gibraltar team of officials, led by the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for European Affairs Dr Joseph Garcia, have delivered on the commitment that I gave the Prime Minister that we would not delay the process.”

“The Government is now looking forward to the referendum, which has been confirmed as being held on 23rd June, and to making the case for the UK and Gibraltar's continued membership of the EU,” he added.