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Govt condemns GSD’s ‘deplorable’ view of Brexit and the civil service

Convent Place Outside ( Photo John Bugeja) 18-11-17

The GSD has dug itself into an “ever deeper hole” through its “tiresome” and “wholly unfounded” criticism of the Gibraltar Government’s handling of Brexit, No.6 Convent Place said yesterday.

In the latest salvo in a long-running exchange, the government said it would not continue repeatedly to explain its position.

But it highlighted “a new issue” raised by the GSD, who had accused the Chief Minister of hiding behind the civil servants who follow his instructions in the negotiations.

“What on earth are they talking about now?,” No.6 Convent Place said.

“What civil servants? What hiding?”

“The deal that the Chief Minister has negotiated is his deal. When has he said otherwise?”

The government said the GSD’s “swipe at the civil service” was “shameful”.

It said civil servants played a fundamental role in delivering the Gibraltar Government’s Brexit strategy, both those directly involved in the negotiations and those who ensured the administration of public services continued despite the pressures of Brexit on key ministers.

No.6 Convent Place said those civil servants made “a great contribution” to Gibraltar were part of the decision-making process and members of a team, not just there to follow instructions.

“It is nothing short of deplorable that the GSD should now seek to undermine the importance and relevance of the civil service to the Brexit negotiations, as if they are there to do as they are told and not to express their own opinion of issues which informs the position the Government takes on a wide range of issues,” Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said.

“I have the pleasure and privilege to be working with civil servants of the highest professionalism and competence, whether they are directly involved in the Brexit negotiations or doing the other work that needs to be done.”

“If only the GSD would challenge me with the quality of the discussions that I have with some of these civil servants, democracy in Gibraltar would be better served.”

“Instead, all I get from the GSD is diatribe of the most mediocre level that serves little if any purpose and advances nothing other than the GSD’s desperate attempts to make themselves relevant.”

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