Picardo to brief influential European Parliament committee
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo will update a key European Parliament committee on issues relating to Gibraltar and Brexit next week.
Confirmation of Mr Picardo’s attendance before the Select Committee Constitutional Affairs in Brussels comes as a senior Partido Popular MEP said Gibraltar would only be able to access the Single Market “through Spain”.
Esteban González Pons, the PP spokesman in the European Parliament, is a member of the committee and will be present next week, as will the PSOE MEP Ramón Jauregui.
“If Gibraltar wants to continue participating in the single market, it will have to do so through Spain,” Sr González reportedly said.
Mr Picardo will appear before the European committee on Monday morning next week and the session will be broadcast live online.It will follow this week’s appearance on Wednesday before the House of Commons' Brexit Select Committee.
Mr Picardo's appearance before the European Parliament was due to have occurred late last year but was delayed because some members of the committee were not available at the time.
The committee will also be seeking to take evidence from other political leaders in the United Kingdom.
“This is an important committee of the Parliament that is taking evidence in Brussels also in the context of Brexit, as the House of Lords and the House of Commons are doing in London,” Mr Picardo said.
“I very much look forward to appearing before this influential committee and making the position of the people of Gibraltar clear to all its members, in particular our clear and unequivocal position in relation to continued and exclusive British Sovereignty going forward.”
In the meantime, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, who will attend the parliamentary session, will also continue with a separate round of meetings designed to put across the Gibraltar point of view on Brexit issues to decision makers in the European Union.
The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister left for London yesterday.
Mr Picardo will hold preparatory meetings throughout today, together with Dr Garcia and Attorney General Michael Llamas, in anticipation of the appearance before the House of Commons Brexit Select Committee on Wednesday morning.
In the absence of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, the Minister for Education and the Environment, Dr John Cortes, will act as Chief Minister.