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Parliament session opens with focus on sovereignty, Brexit and the Constitution

Britain’s double-lock sovereignty commitment to Gibraltar was reaffirmed during the Ceremonial Opening of the Gibraltar Parliament yesterday, with the challenge of a potential UK exit from the EU also prominent on the minds of the Rock’s political leaders.

With next year marking the tenth anniversary of the 2006 Constitution, plans for a forthcoming constitutional review were also on the agenda at the packed event at Parliament House.

Governor Alison MacMillan, addressing MPs and guests as Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Gibraltar, reflected on the UK’s commitment in the Constitution to never discuss or take any action on sovereignty against the wishes of the Gibraltarians.

"These statements bear repetition, especially on occasions such as this, since they not only form the cornerstone of the relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom, but also set the context for the work that you do, that I do and that future governors will do on a daily basis," she said.

Earlier that morning and following the Westminster procedure, Joe Bossano, Gibraltar’s longest-serving MP, acted as presiding member as 17 parliamentarians were sworn in, 10 on the government benches and seven on the opposition side.

Adolfo Canepa was also sworn in as Speaker of Parliament, accepting the post with a reminder to MPs new and old to keep the tone of debate civil and constructive.

The Speaker’s re-appointment was backed unanimously, although the Opposition expressed some reservations about some of his decisions in the preceding session of parliament.


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