Keith Azopardi, the new leader of the Gibraltar Social Democrats, has called on Britain to be “clearer and more robust” in its assurances to Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, in the Brexit negotiations.
Azopardi, who became the party’s leader last November, will also insist that any beneficial trade and transitional arrangements agreed by the UK and the EU must be extended to Gibraltar.
As reported by the Gibraltar Chronicle online, the message will cover a wide range of current issues, including Azopardi’s plans to re-energise the GSD and make it “the natural home for the moderate centre-ground of Gibraltar politics”.
“So far the assurances of [British] Prime Minister [Theresa] May in the UK parliament have fallen well short of the categorical promises that we need,” said Azopardi. “She has said that Gibraltar is included in the negotiations that the UK is conducting with the EU.
“But including us in the negotiations is not the same as including us in a beneficial agreement. It is simply not good enough,” he added.
According to the reports, Azopardi will insist that no Brexit deal can be done unless it has “the express consent” of the government and people of Gibraltar, and that the Gibraltar government must be involved “as a key participant” in any discussions.
He also said he will call on the Gibraltar government to “leave no stone unturned” in its efforts to secure a successful Brexit for Gibraltar, adding that pressure must be maintained on the UK government.