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Opposition ‘are in a parallel universe’ on Brexit, Govt says

The Gibraltar Government has lashed out at the GSD and accused the party of promoting ‘disunity’ by being critical in public of the work that the Government has done in respect of Brexit.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, No. 6 Convent Place further accused the GSD of “scaremongering”.

The Government was responding to a GSD statement in which it said the security of Gibraltar, in the scenario of Brexit, has been threatened by the financial mismanagement of the GSLP/Liberal Government for the last five years under the leadership of Fabian Picardo.

“Can they really believe that an issue as crucial as Brexit was dreamt up by the GSLP/Liberal administration just to distract the electorate from matters of government expenditure?”

“They cannot honestly be suggesting that Sr García-Margallo is making his outrageous threats against Gibraltar just as a smokescreen to draw attention away from our Government’s level of spending.”

No. 6 described as “ludicrous” the GSD’s comments and said the timing is particularly serious, given that they have chosen to “play politics” when Mr Margallo was in the Campo Area and Mr Picardo was in Seville, building alliances for Gibraltar.

“They have no more sense of timing than they do of statesmanship.”

The Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, and his party are full of contradictions, No. 6 said.

“On the one hand they argue that the Government should do more, which clearly will involve greater expenditure,” the Government’s statement read.

“On the other hand, they complain that the Government is spending too much.”

“They call for unity on Brexit and then go on to promote disunity by being critical in public of the hard work that the Government has done so far in this regard.”

“In one moment they wrongly accuse the Government of engaging in distraction, and then in the next moment they engage in distraction themselves by responding to the Government’s statement on Brexit with one of their own about public finances.”

Their sole purpose, No. 6 said, appears to be to undermine the Government at this sensitive time in order to “promote disunity, to generate uncertainty and to divide Gibraltar.”

The Government said it was incredible that having just agreed to assess the impact of Brexit in a Select Committee together with the Government; the Opposition nonetheless continued to issue press releases on the matter “as if they preferred to act on their own.”

The Government stated there is “very positive feedback” precisely about the way in which it has set about promoting the interests of Gibraltar by working hand in hand with the UK.

“This is happening already. It has been happening from the moment that the result of the referendum was known and indeed in some areas even before then.”

The Government added that the GSD behaves as if it was unaware of this or simply want to “distort reality for their own political ends”.

“Everyone else is well aware that the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister have been received by members of the UK Government at the highest level, including by the Prime Minister Theresa May on the very day that she was appointed to the post.”

In addition, the Government has for many weeks established wide consultation across all areas of the administration and with the community at large on the impact of Brexit on Gibraltar, it added.

“This work has led to a detailed report which will be submitted to the United Kingdom for channelling through the new Department for Exiting the European Union in order to ensure that the interests of Gibraltar are presented to all relevant parties.”