TG and GSD clash over Brexit
Gibraltar’s Opposition parties today clashed after Together Gibraltar said the Gibraltar Government should be given an opportunity to handle the Brexit negotiations “without a climate of political manipulation” by the GSD.
But the GSD hit back over accusations it is putting its own electoral interests first, and questioned why Together Gibraltar was keen to “simply go along” with the Government “blindly without questioning it on the most important issue of the day.”
In the opening salvo, Together Gibraltar said: “The party believes that this Government has to be
given the opportunity to negotiate freely, as long as red lines on sovereignty, control and mutual
prosperity are respected.”
“The current predicament requires that the Government of Gibraltar explores all available options
to keep our frontier flowing and our economy thriving, and that opposition parties allow for this to happen without exploiting the situation to grab empty headlines.”
“The party believes that any change to the constitution should be put to a referendum, and that given
that all three parties agree on this point, it is unfortunate that the GSD is already stirring a climate of
political manipulation, with disingenuous claims regarding the negotiations.”
“This use of demagoguery to gain political capital and damage government, before we even know the substance of potential agreements, only works to the detriment of the people of Gibraltar,” Together Gibraltar said.
“This is a tactic that we have seen too often throughout the decades with other parties jumping in during difficult moments in our history to manipulate the narrative to their advantage, and something which we consider politically immature and irresponsible, especially at such a crucial juncture.”
Together Gibraltar said it believes that these most exceptional circumstances require “generosity and
political decency” from all sides of the spectrum so that they can all work to overcome unprecedented threats, while it urged all parties to live up to this challenge.
But the GSD said the statement from Together Gibraltar was “disingenuous.”
In its response, the GSD said it was surprised that TG was willing to give the Government “a carte blanche” in Brexit talks and to the extent of not being willing even to question the deals that the Government already did in 2018.
“The handling of the post-Brexit talks and the possible outcomes represent the biggest current challenge for this community,” the GSD said.
“It is important that people should know what the policy of the various parties are on this issue.”
“We have repeatedly made clear what the GSD’s position on this important challenge is. Where does Together Gibraltar stand in all this?”
“Nothing in their press release comes even close to informing the public of where the party stands on such matters.”
“They are simply playing into the GSLP’s hands by adopting the stance they did.”
“Political maturity requires that politicians should understand the distinction between allowing space for talks and abandoning their duty to make critical assessment of what agreements are reached or the process Governments are embarked on.”
The GSD said giving the Government space in negotiations does not mean that the Opposition should abdicate its duty to make value judgments on agreements that were already reached in 2018.
“That is what the GSD did in 2018 and we have now simply restated our position that Government’s failure to achieve lasting benefits on border fluidity two years ago was a lost opportunity,” the GSD said, adding that it is a legitimate comment and “a fact.”