Mr Picardo Refuses to Work Jointly For Gibraltar with a GSD Government

The announcement by Mr Picardo that the GSLP/Liberals would refuse the offer of a future GSD Government to participate in a joint delegation to conclude a safe and beneficial post-Brexit agreement is remarkable and a total disservice to Gibraltar. It is, however, typical of a GSLP/Liberals Government that is now so desperate to distract from domestic failings and to survive that it is prepared to say anything to stay in power.

The effect of what they are saying is that such would be the rage of the GSLP/Liberals if they are rejected at the polls that they would refuse to help a GSD Government. So be it. They will be judged by the electorate for that political arrogance.

The GSD has the competent team to deal with the BREXIT challenge. We will inherit the officials who have been involved in the discussions. Additionally, three members of the current GSD team have ministerial experience and Mr Azopardi was Deputy Chief Minister to Sir Peter Caruana at the time of the joint sovereignty crisis. When Mr Picardo became Chief Minister in 2011, he had no ministerial experience. He is certainly not indispensable.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “This political arrogance smacks of the old unreconstructed GSLP. They have admitted they are not willing to present a united front in the interests of Gibraltar or to even participate in a joint delegation.

This is an incredible turn of events. The GSD has said often that we are prepared to work with the present administration in the national interest. We offered our help on Brexit but they decided to go it alone. We worked with them from the Opposition benches on COVID. Where necessary and in the public interest of Gibraltar we have put country over Party and offered our help. Here is the GSLP doing the opposite. Mr Picardo is saying he is too big to work with a future GSD Government. This unbelievable arrogance is striking.

They are playing a party-political card to say to people that the only way they would be willing to work in the interests of Gibraltar is if they are in Government. This is completely different to the position the GSD have adopted where we have offered our help from Opposition and would seek to invite them to join our delegation in Government. Frankly if it has come to that then let the people of Gibraltar judge this for what it is – a shameless political act from Mr Picardo who is now desperate to save his political skin and is seeking to blackmail voters into one final term. It is unbelievable that he would be prepared to fail to assist a future GSD Government.

The manufactured pretext for all this is that Mr Picardo doesn’t want to sit in the same delegation with people he considers soft on Spain. That is a false and outrageous slur on the GSD and of me in particular. People know that the idea we are soft on Spain is complete nonsense. It’s like the desperate card they played in the last chance saloon in 1996; fearmongering about the GSD and Peter Caruana’s credentials then. The GSD track record is clear and people know what it is. This is one last desperate throw of a dice by Mr Picardo who is running out of things to say to divert people from the many domestic failings of his Government – from the public finances’ crisis; the failures of the health service and housing departments; the waste, abuse and corruption agenda.

The position that they would not assist a future GSD Government is the latest warped manifestation of a GSLP that puts its interests above those of Gibraltar. For that reason alone they should be booted out of office and the sooner the better. We will still make that offer to them in Government and if they really refuse they will be seen for what they are – people who are not prepared to work for Gibraltar’s interests whatever the outcome of the next election.”