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Govt will steer clear of Article 50 court action

The Gibraltar Government will not intervene in proceedings currently being litigated in the English Courts over whether the Prime Minister must seek MPs’ approval to trigger the process of taking Britain out of the European Union.

In a question and answer session of Parliament yesterday, the GSD flagged up the case and highlighted the fact that Gibraltarian man Paul Cartwright is an ‘interested party’ in that litigation.

The GSD therefore asked if the Government would follow the example of Scotland and intervene in the proceedings.

The position at present, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said, is that the Gibraltar Government does not intend to intervene in the proceedings.

Dr Garcia, who is also Minister for exiting the European Union, confirmed the Government was aware of Mr Cartwright’s involvement in the litigation.

But when asked if the Government intended to assist Mr Cartwright in respect of his travel to and from the UK, the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said the Government does not assist litigants in private proceedings.

“The Government is dealing with the issues that arise in Brexit politically in our exchanges with the British Government,” Mr Picardo said.

“We do not consider that it is appropriate for one Government to litigate against another,” he added.

GSD MP Trevor Hammond asked if he therefore disagrees with the position taken by the Scottish Government in this respect.

“The Government does not give opinions on the opinions of others,” Mr Picardo said, reiterating that he and Dr Garcia are engaged in negotiating the best possible deal for Gibraltar in the context of the decision of the people of the UK to leave the EU.

“We will continue to do that,” he said.

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