Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
UK/Spain News

‘We owe Gibraltar a good deal,’ Sir Bob Neill says in final Commons speech

Sir Bob Neill during his final speech in the House of Commons on Friday. Photo via House of Commons.

Conservative MP Sir Robert Neill, the chairman of the All Party Group on Gibraltar in the House of Commons, spoke of the “absolutely essential” importance of cross-border fluidity to the Rock in his final speech in Parliament on Friday.

Sir Bob, as he is best known, is stepping down as an MP and will not contest the forthcoming July 4 General Election.

A stalwart champion of Gibraltar over many years, he spoke of his “great pride” in having defended the interests of Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians during the challenging period since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“Gibraltar is a proud part of the British family and we owe it to them to make sure we have a good deal with the European Union, to ensure the free flowing border which is essential, absolutely essential, to Gibraltar's well-being,” he said.

“It was our choice, not my personal choice, to leave the European Union.”

“That was a democratic decision but, as many people would know, that placed Gibraltar under particular pressures.”

“We owe it to them not to obstruct any sensible deal, and I'm sure, in the hands of the current government, and I'm sure any future government, that will be the case, because we have built a cross-party consensus on supporting Gibraltar.”

Sir Bob, a lawyer by profession who also chaired the Commons Justice Committee, reflected on his life in politics but said it was now time to support his wife and family, who had been there for him throughout his political career.

Sir Bob, the MP for Bromley and Chislehurst for the past 18 years, reflected on how Bromley had been former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's constituency.

“I've always felt that very strongly because I see myself in the Macmillan tradition of one nation conservatism,” he said.

“I'm a politician of the centre right, and in my book, the centre in that phrase is as important as the right.”

“And long may we continue to hold to that tradition of pragmatism, compassion and sensible moderation that has been the hallmark of our party over the years in which Macmillan epitomised and I think, inspired many of my generation.”

Most Read

Local News

Rapist jailed for over 12 years

Download The App On The iOS Store