The publication of the Yellowhammer Report dated 2 August 2019 by the UK Government shows that when the Gibraltar Government said that the leaked report was out of date this was untrue.
The leaked report was published by the Sunday Times on 18 August. Mr Picardo immediately said it was out of date and that work had been done since those scenarios were devised months ago. He clearly led people to believe that the Report was months old. At the time Mr Picardo described it as “out of date reporting by the Sunday Times.”
We now know the report was dated 2 August putting to an end any doubt on this issue. This was a mere 16 days after it was reported by the Sunday Times which was criticised by Mr Picardo for “out of date reporting.”
In the Yellowhammer report there were concerns expressed that the Gibraltar Government was not ready and that there could be long border queues, breaks in food and medicine supplies and general disruption to freedom of movement, waste management or business in a no deal BREXIT scenario. It also highlighted that “Despite the time extension to the UK’s exit from the EU Gibraltar has still not taken the decisions to invest in contingency infrastructure (such as port adjustments and waste management equipment).”
GSD Leader Keith Azopardi said: “The Government has been at pains to say that it has done work to alleviate those worst case scenarios. It needs to share the latest reports with the Opposition in advance of the election and not just say publicly that it has done work. In the same way that the UK has shared the Yellowhammer report with the Opposition the Gibraltar Government should do the same with its own internal reports. We are not asking for these to be published as there may be sensitive issues that cannot be published. We understand that. But people would expect the Government and Opposition to work together on this issue and we are prepared to do so in the public interest. If Mr Picardo does not then the people of Gibraltar can make their assessment at election time.”
Mr Azopardi added: “At the same time that the Yellowhammer report was leaked it was reported that the Government were seeking to “strike a new agreement with Spain to allow for the free movement of persons next month.” That would mean that an agreement would be signed this month – September. What are the status of these talks with Spain and what will the agreement cover? Weeks away from an election Mr Picardo needs to be clear with the electorate what agreements he is envisaging. Are we going to find out about this new agreement by leaks in the foreign press as well?”