This year marks the 25th anniversary since the first public holiday to mark National Day. The 10th of September, which was already marked in our minds because of the seminal Referendum in 1967, has now acquired this even greater significance as our annual celebration of our identity, strength as a community and rights as a people. We should be proud of what we are and the work of successive generations over the last three hundred years towards the political, social and economic development of our country.

Once again we will be visited by friends in the British Parliament and other British Parliaments. I am sure you will all make them welcome and give them a strong memory of our unity, sense of purpose and nationhood.

This looks like being the last National Day before we formally leave the European Union. In Gibraltar we have not wanted to leave the European Union but we will make the best of those challenges and opportunities. We are hopeful that if handled correctly there is an opportunity to secure a lasting relationship with the EU that works for Gibraltar. The GSD is not involved in those negotiations but we have given the Government ample space to negotiate for Gibraltar in the public interest. In coming weeks the spotlight will be on the outcome of those talks and we will not shirk from highlighting our views on that issue. Whatever happens we are confident in the resilience of this community of ours in finding a way through.

On behalf of all of us at the GSD I wish you and your families an enjoyable celebration on this National Day and pledge to you that we will continue our efforts to secure our rights as a people internationally and improve our social and economic conditions domestically.