This year’s Gibraltar Day in London saw a radical change from similar events of recent years.
The Finance Services lunch was again held in the Guildhall where over three hundred members of the City of London’s top banking, insurance and finance institutions heard speeches by Mr Picardo and by the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade. This is the first time that a UK Minister of State has ever spoken at a Financial Services lunch. However, in a significant change, instead of being hosted and paid for by HM Government of Gibraltar as it had in the past, the lunch was totally paid for by those who attended, either corporately or individually.
The Chief Minister’s evening reception saw a huge change in its substance and its style. It was a break with its traditional format in which over a thousand guests used to squeeze themselves into the 15th century Great Hall of the Guildhall for an evening which always ended with a military parade.
This year’s Gibraltar Day reception was held on the ultra-modern 39th floor at the very top of the Gherkin building at the heart of the City of London. Just 200 guests were invited - a mix of ambassadors, leaders of the other Overseas Territories, recent Governors of Gibraltar and Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The reception was addressed both by Robin Walker, Minister from the Department for Exiting the European Union and by the Chief Minister.
After a hugely successful day, Mr Picardo explained that the main change in this year’s format was that ‘We felt that the event we had traditionally organised was more about what Gibraltar had been in the past than about what Gibraltar is or what we are gearing up to be in the future.’
‘And there may be more yet changes on the way for next year's Gibraltar Day in London,’ he hinted.