"This year will be an extra-special National Day because the day will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, where for the first time the people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly, freely and democratically to retain their links with the United Kingdom."
In view of this, and of the continuing negotiations to exit the European Union, the Government has again invited a cross-party group of Members of Parliament to Gibraltar, from the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the European Parliament. This year there has been heightened interest in Gibraltar precisely because of the Brexit background.
The Parliamentarians are a mix of Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party, Democratic Unionist, Ulster Unionist, Green Party and UKIP. The group includes old friends of Gibraltar and also new ones who have expressed an interest in learning more about us.
A full working programme has been prepared for the group. This includes a briefing with the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, a Brexit briefing with the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia who is responsible for work related to EU exit, a briefing from the Ministry of Defence and a call on HE the Governor and the Commander British Forces. There will also be a technical briefing on financial services matters.
The group of Parliamentarians will also participate in the range of different events that have been prepared around National Day itself and for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
In addition to this, the Gibraltar Government representatives in London, Brussels and the United States will also be in Gibraltar.
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said: “The number and cross-party nature of the group of Parliamentarians visiting this time reflects the high level of interest in Gibraltar that exists in the UK Parliament at present. The Government is delighted with the mix of cross-party representation that has been achieved. Gibraltar has friends in all the political parties in the UK and we must build on that going forward. A full programme of briefings has been arranged so that our visitors are made aware directly of the Gibraltar point of view across the board over a number of different issues.”