Oct 21 2014
Gibraltar is an integral part of the history of the United Kingdom – and very much a part of the UK’s future as well. That was the message given by Europe Minister, David Lidington, at the traditional reception at the Guildhall to celebrate Gibraltar Day in London.
Addressing an audience of around a thousand guests, David Lidington reiterated his Government’s commitment to defend and promote the interests of Gibraltar, and never to enter into sovereignty negotiations against the will of its people.
Mr Lidington spoke of the challenges facing Gibraltar – saying he believed lobbying efforts by the UK were starting to pay off with regards to the border, with Spain taking remedial action. He emphasised that Gibraltar’s right not to be excluded from EU aviation legislation was a matter not of political whim or choice, but of law as set out in the European treaties.
In his address, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo read out a message from the Queen – a response from her private secretary to his request for Her Majesty to visit Gibraltar, expressing Queen Elizabeth’s continuing support for the Government and the people of Gibraltar.
Fabian Picardo said “the voice of Gibraltar is loud and clear … but best amplified when working together with Britain on issues of mutual importance”. He said Gibraltar was ready to engage in trilateral dialogue – and to enter into parallel ad hoc talks if parameters can be agreed with Spain.
He outlined a number of recent economic and cultural developments in Gibraltar, including the International Literary Festival, the licensing of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and the creation of both a national bank and university.
Mr Picardo reiterated that the links between Gibraltar and the UK were as modern as they are historic – with Mr Lidington going on to say the Rock had transformed itself from a military garrison to a modern, dynamic, entrepreneurial society.
The evening came to a close with a Massed Bands Spectacular, which saw the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band and Corps of Drums and the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth perform a Sunset Ceremony.
Source: GBC News