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Government neglects Schools and abandons Training

By | Education | No Comments

Not one brick has been laid by the GSLP Government in relation to its glossy manifesto commitment to build 5 new schools and there is no sign that the Government has in any way progressed plans to put education at the top of the political agenda.

On training the position is even worse and the Future Job Strategy fails to deliver on every level and costs the community over £10Million a year.

The answers to questions in Parliament on both education and training have been lazy, evasive and demonstrate a real lack of commitment and vision on education and training of our Young People moving forward.

Commenting on the issue, Shadow Minister for Education, Elliott Phillips MP said:

“The Government is clearly putting the brakes on education and other important areas of domestic policy. Whilst challenges that face us are indeed significant, we cannot sit back and ignore the educational and training needs of our Young People.

Brexit must be seen as an opportunity to showcase Gibraltar by focusing our efforts on building a well educated and skilled workforce for the future.  We must develop better opportunities for our Young People so that they are encouraged and inspired in skilled trades and the new technologies. By placing our Young People in dead end jobs we are depriving them of opportunity, worse still we are condemning them to a life of dissatisfaction and little hope.

The failure to set out how the Government intends to build 5 new schools in 2 1/2 years is nothing short of astonishing. Where are the plans? What are the results of the consultation on the new schools and on co-education?  The Government has abandoned and neglected ordinary working families and now they are doing the same with the education and training of our Young People.”

Gibraltar Education

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We are promoting urgent public petitions to the UK and EU Parliaments saying NO to clause 22!

By | Uncategorised | No Comments

We are disappointed that the European Union appears to have singled out Gibraltar as a bilateral issue between the United Kingdom and Spain at the earliest possible juncture by the inclusion of a veto in the form of clause 22 in the draft negotiating position.

Despite the assurances of the UK Government, we want to ensure that the wishes of the people of Gibraltar continue to be heard in both the UK and EU Parliaments and that no stone is left unturned in the expression of those wishes.

Both the UK House of Commons and the EU Parliament have established mechanisms for the acceptance and reading of public petitions. We have drafted such petitions and made contact with the office of the Clerk of Public Petitions in the House of Commons. We will be inviting non governmental organisations and the Government to support both petitions in order to present a united front in defending Gibraltar’s interests.

We’ll be knocking on doors and will set up a stand on Main Street in the coming weeks, and those interested in signing the petition can also come down to GSD headquarters.

This is an important way in which the people of Gibraltar (in parallel with the Government) can express their concerns directly to the House of Commons and the EU Parliament on the EU draft negotiating position before they are ratified by the EU on 29 April 2017.

Say no to clause 22

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Clause 22 requires removal to protect Gibraltar’s Economic Interests

By | Uncategorised | No Comments

We welcome the statements made by UK Government and its Ministers over the weekend.  The GSD, however, believes that there has been a focus in those statements on sovereignty commitments.  Welcome as these are, the double lock commitment of the UK Government in respect of sovereignty is inviolable.  The attempt to exclude Gibraltar from any UK-EU BREXIT deal requires an unequivocal rejection of the so-called clause 22.

Over the next few months the UK and the EU will attempt to agree by consensus a list of issues or an agenda, which will be carried forward for negotiation in any BREXIT deal.  That is why Spain has played its hand early.  Any inclusion of clause 22 in that consensus list or agenda should be wholly unacceptable for the UK Government.  This is not about sovereignty.  It is about protecting the economic interests of our community in circumstances where we are being singled out at the earliest possible juncture for exclusion.

Over the last year the GSD has argued that Gibraltar’s goals should remain simple and from the outset we outlined what those goals should be: access to the UK market, access to any trade deals negotiated by the UK with third counties and the EU, together with a sensible agreement in respect of the frontier.  Nothing that undermines those objectives should be acceptable to us.

In addition, we should continue to attempt to develop alternative non-EU dependent markets.  Gibraltar has always shown it is an agile jurisdiction which can adapt and we simply need to get on it.  In this regard, the Leader of the Opposition is visiting Morocco today for high level meetings.  He has already done so on a number of occasions in the past eight months.  Roy Clinton will be acting Leader of the Opposition in his absence.

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