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Picardo announces ‘Brexit ministerial reshuffle’

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, yesterday outlined a ‘major’ cabinet reshuffle to better deal with the challenges that Brexit will present.

The significant changes include the creation of a new Brexit Ministry as well as the fusing of a number of ministries to achieve “a better layout” of departments, Mr Picardo told reporters at a press conference held at No. 6 Convent Place.

Mr Picardo accompanied by the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, had earlier taken to the short walk to the Convent to advice the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, to appoint new ministerial portfolios under the Constitution.

“It is time now almost a year after the election to reshuffle, to refresh and to reboot,” he said.

Shortly after the 2015 general election Mr Picardo had indicated that there would be an extensive cabinet reshuffle the following year.

However, as a result of the outcome of the referendum on EU membership there are differences in the reshuffle announced yesterday to the one that had been planned for, he said.

Mr Picardo said that at this “historic time” in the affairs of Gibraltar Dr Garcia, would become the Minister for Exiting the European Union.

This echoes developments in the United Kingdom where David Davis was appointed Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in the wake of the referendum.

Outlining the responsibilities of that role, Mr Picardo said it would involve the continued engagement with the United Kingdom as well as Gibraltar’s permanent representation in Brussels, other EU member states and EU institutions to ensure that Gibraltar is best able to navigate the “very difficult waters that are coming”.

Dr Garcia retains responsibility for lobbying internationally and for the representative offices abroad and for European Affairs.

Responsibility for lands and government projects also stays with Dr Garcia as does civil aviation, political, democratic and civil reform and promotion of the right to self-determination and liaison with the United Nations.

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