ON the eve of the Conservative Party Conference in the UK, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (pictured) was unequivocal in confirming Britain’s commitment to upholding Gibraltar’s British sovereignty and its right to self-determination.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was at the Gibraltar reception when Mr Johnson stated that there would be no change or negotiation on Gibraltar’s sovereignty against the wishes of the Gibraltarians.
Mr Johnson said: “That double lock is there for the people of Gibraltar. It remains absolutely fixed and immoveable as the Pillars of Hercules themselves, the Rock of Gibraltar and Djebel Must on the other side.”
Mr Johnson also said that the UK would defend not just Gibraltar’s right to self-determination, but its economy too in the wake of Brexit and noted its continued importance as a military base in the western Mediterranean.
Mr Picardo told guests at the event that Gibraltar would continue to look for friendship with its Spanish neighbours in an effort to convince them that the path ahead was through trade and friendship, but he added: “We will never compromise any aspect of sovereignty, jurisdiction or control in exchange for any commercial advantage. Our British sovereignty means more than anything to us.
The Chief Minister said that Britain had responded ‘with genuine and realistic reassurance’ to Gibraltar’s fears about its post-Brexit future and that the British Government was working closely with the Gibraltar Government to ensure The Rock’s continued economic prosperity once the UK leaves the EU.