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Govt and Opposition agree path for constitutional review

The Gibraltar Government and the Opposition have defused the row over plans for a review of the 2006 Constitution.

The two sides had clashed in Parliament on this issue but have now agreed a way forward in respect of the Constitutional Review Select Committee of Parliament.

As a result, the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, has agreed to nominate two members to the Select Committee.

In a joint statement the Government and the Opposition said their respective positions on this matter were well known and the arguments had rehearsed during a recent debate in Parliament.

“The Government is committed to a review by the Select Committee of the 2006 Constitution which may or may not result in a proposal to reform parts of the Constitution but which will seek to further the process for Gibraltar to be removed from the list of non-self-governing territories maintained by the United Nations,” the statement said.

“The participation of the Opposition is on the understanding that the Government is not seeking to redefine Gibraltar’s relationship with the United Kingdom and will be without prejudice to their position that the 2006 Constitution provides Gibraltar with the maximum level of self-government short of independence and the relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom is not one based on colonialism.”

The names of the five Members of the Select Committee will be put to Parliament in a Motion agreed by the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and Mr Feetham.

Given the parliamentary timetable which includes the Budget, the work of the Select Committee will not begin in earnest until after the summer and therefore after the Referendum to be held on June 23 this year on the UK and Gibraltar's continued membership of the European Union.

The Select Committee will however be constituted and its technical advisers will start to compile the documentation required in order to commence work after the summer recess.