Picardo has ‘dug a hole for himself’ on Brexit, GSD says
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has “dug a hole for himself” by backing Theresa May’s “bad Brexit deal”, the GSD said yesterday.
The Opposition was reacting to the “personal abuse” levelled at GSD Leader Keith Azopardi, who the government had accused of attempting to divide Gibraltar with “distorted and misinformed” views on Brexit.
In a blistering attack, the government had said the GSD’s “unelected Leader” was scoring “cheap political points” on issue that required statesmanship and constructive politics.
But the GSD and said the Brexit deal gave Spain a say in Gibraltar’s affairs and secured no long-term, enduring benefits for the people of Gibraltar.
“If that is what being a ‘statesman’ means and if that is why the wounded Mrs May repeatedly praised Mr Picardo's ‘statesmanlike’ qualities, then Mr Azopardi would rather never receive such a cackhanded compliment as that does nothing in substance to further Gibraltar's objectives,” the GSD said.
“She was clutching at straws then and Mr Picardo is clutching at straws now.”
Mr Azopardi said the problem was not that the GSD was being fanciful in its ideas, but rather that the Chief Minister had abandoned any attempt to negotiate a tailor-made deal for Gibraltar “which he once boasted he could do”.
“Gone are the days that he said we could have more Europe and freedom of movement and single market access,” Mr Azopardi said.
“He has now been reduced to being Mrs May's poodle.”
“His reaction to the failure of the May deal simply reveals further lack of direction.”
“He will now consult with the very UK Parliamentarians that he alienated by siding with Mrs May so closely.”
“In fact he has been the only British leader to have done so.”
“The Scottish and Welsh Governments are against the deal, so is Labour, so are the Northern Ireland coalition partners of Mrs May and a third of her own party.”
“Mr Picardo just simply does not know how he is going to get out of this hole he has dug for himself and all he can do is hurl abuse at the GSD leader.”
“The problem is that he is dragging Gibraltar down with his inability to make a sound judgment of the political landscape.”
“That is why he should call an election sooner rather than later and let the people decide who should run the next phase of negotiations if that is where the Brexit episode ends.”