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‘Let’s look beyond Brexit’, Picardo says

CM New Year's Message 05-01-18 (Photo John Bugeja) from No.6

Gibraltar must look beyond Brexit and design for itself a British future that protects the Rock’s prosperity for the next generation of Gibraltarians, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo will say in New Year message on GBC tonight.

Mr Picardo, who returns to work today after taking paternity leave, will highlight the work carried out by his government in 2017 and the commitments secured from the UK Government on Brexit.

“We must make the choices that secure the best - exclusively British - Gibraltar that we can for our collective futures,” Mr Picardo will say, according to extracts of his message released by No.6 Convent Place.

“We must look over and beyond the horizon.”

“Our sights must be set beyond today and tomorrow.”

“For us, the parents of the next generations of Gibraltarians, it's not about this week or next.”

“It's about setting Gibraltar up for the next fifty years of Gibraltarian success and prosperity.”

In the message recorded at No.6 Convent Place, the Chief Minister will highlight the strong support received from the UK Government, not just in terms of the double-lock sovereignty commitment but also on crucial issues such as continued market access.

Mr Picardo will focus on the cumulative effect of the numerous undertakings voiced by British politicians including Prime Minister Theresa May.

Those undertakings, he will say, represent “…a golden thread that admits of no conclusion other than that Gibraltar cannot legitimately be excluded from any UK transitional period or any relevant aspects of any future trade deal or deals with the European Union.”

“That is why we are, genuinely, fully involved in all aspects of the Brexit process which involve Gibraltar.”

And Mr Picardo will also insist that Gibraltar retains “the crucial veto” on all aspects of how Gibraltar’s withdrawal, transition and future relationship with the EU develops.

“Indeed, this should be clear to the whole of the European Union and the United Kingdom, as should the potential consequences for some EU nationals of a premature or disorderly Brexit by Gibraltar,” the Chief Minister will tell viewers, highlighting too that the Gibraltar Parliament will play a vital role in the process.

In a wide-ranging address that will also cover domestic issues, Mr Picardo will urge viewers not to dwell on media reports about Spanish vetoes or Gibraltar’s possible exclusion from aspects of the Brexit deal.

“We must give no credence to premature triumphalism and we must pay no heed to the siren calls of those who seek to undermine us,” Mr Picardo will say, adding that viewers should await the outcome of the negotiations.

“What we must also realise is just how much is now already secured.”

The Chief Minister’s New Year Address will be broadcast on GBC Television tonight at 8.30pm.

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