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Leader of the Opposition Post-Referendum Parliamentary Address

By | Uncategorised | No Comments

Mr Speaker,

In 1980, Joseph Elliott Trudeau, the then Prime Minister of Canada, and the father of the current Prime Minister of that country, reflecting on the Quebec referendum, said:

“It is obvious that these are historic moments. There are very few examples in the history of democracy of one part of a country choosing to decide, for its self and by itself, whether, YES or NO, it wants to be part of a country to which it has (…) belonged.”

In less than two years, the United Kingdom has faced not one such historic moment, in the Scottish referendum, but a second equally seminal moment in yesterday’s referendum which – ironically – will test the resilience of the Union in the next few years. I pray, as someone who feels passionately about the Union and forming a part of the British family of nations that, though undoubtedly tested, the Union will prove resilient over the next few years.

Sadly for us, the result has not been what we wanted here in this House, and what the people of Gibraltar have voted for in massive numbers. We could not have done more than we did here in Gibraltar; I am proud of my fellow Gibraltarians who once again have not been found wanting.

It has not, indeed, been the will of the people of Scotland, or Northern Ireland, who have all voted by a majority for Remain.

But it is the will of the United Kingdom as a whole and in any democracy one must respect that will.

Every new chapter in life, and politics is no different, brings its challenges but so too hope and opportunities. We as a people are no strangers to adversity and have faced and overcome many challenges in the past. Our community has a strength of purpose and resilience to overcome adversity again and together we will again prevail.

There will be no despair on this side of the House and I want the people of Gibraltar to know that we will be working hard to ensure that Gibraltar is kept safe, secure and prosperous.

In this House we must now deal in hope; realistic hope but hope none the less.

We need above all to develop a positive and workable road map for the future and that is what we will concentrate on doing. Hopefully, Mr Speaker, working with the Government to devise that road map as equal partners on a non-partisan and transparent basis. The creation of a non-partisan roadmap will help confidence and create a measure of certainty that our businesses and people need.

Our main immediate focus has to be to obtain guarantees from the United Kingdom that Gibraltar will be included in any trade deals negotiated with third parties, any renegotiated access to the Single Market and unrestricted access to the UK market in areas such as insurance, financial services and gaming. Mr Speaker, this situation is not of Gibraltar’s making and the Government of the United Kingdom (particularly one that is led by Brexiteers) owes a duty to the people of Gibraltar to ensure that we are not left behind and that Gibraltar does not suffer economic damage over the next two years. Early guarantees from the United Kingdom will ensure certainty and stability in Gibraltar.

My message to our fellow Gibraltarians today is this:

Gibraltar has always prevailed even in the most difficult of circumstances and I am confident that we can work through future difficulties and that we will be able to maintain and defend the Gibraltarian way of life!

GSD Party Leader

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Margallo best advocate for Remain vote

By | Brexit | No Comments

Daniel Feetham, GSD Party Leader, has said that “comments made by Sr. Garcia-Margallo continue to be a stark reminder why it is important to give people who think like him no hope at the forthcoming referendum by voting REMAIN. His latest comments on Spanish TV were that it would be “perfectly possible” in legal terms for Spain to close the frontier with Gibraltar in the event of a BREXIT. Even though he tried to qualify that statement by saying that this was not an option that his Government had considered, it illustrates the dangers for Gibraltar. Sr Garcia-Margallo has never shied away from using the frontier as a pressure point against Gibraltarians. It will be recalled that in 2013, Sr. Garcia-Margallo told the ABC newspaper that “The party is over” and a number of measures were then being studied by the Madrid Government including a toll payable at the frontier. Ultimately it was EU law that prevented Sr. Garcia-Margallo from proceeding with those restrictions because those restrictions would have been illegal. Without EU law Gibraltar will be hugely vulnerable.”

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Air Quality Worse Than Ever In 2014

By | Environment | No Comments

Amidst continued concerns raised by members of the public over the issue of poor air quality in Gibraltar, we have conducted further investigations which have uncovered areas of great concern.

An analysis of the figures published by the Government for levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, a direct by product of the burning of fossil fuels and a good leading indicator, as the figures are not affected by Saharan Dust or Sea Salt as might be the case for particulates, show 2013 and 2014 were the most polluted years on record. The annual average reading for Nitrogen Dioxide in Gibraltar was over 52 microgrammes where the EU recommended limit is 40 microgrammes. Some areas of Gibraltar were almost double this limit with the Glacis Road monitoring station recording an annual average of 70 microgrammes in 2013 and other areas showing a steady increase in levels.

NO2 Avg

Trevor Hammond, shadow MP for the Environment said  “The Alliance Government was dismissive of the reports issued by both the EU and the World Health Organisation showing that there were concerns with both air and water quality pollution levels in Gibraltar. It now transpires that the Government’s own published figures show air pollution well above acceptable levels in this key metric. I certainly hope that we see a downturn when the 2015 figures are published but it is wrong for Minister Cortes to attempt to give an entirely wrong impression of the true state of our air quality by suggesting it is fine when it is clearly not, all he does is lose credibility. What the Minister needs to do is demonstrate what actions are in place to deal with this matter urgently” .

NO2 Area

 

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