A total of 32 parliamentarians will be coming to Gibraltar on a working visit to participate in National Day events.

That number includes Members of the House of Commons, of the House of Lords, of the Northern Ireland Assembly and of the European Parliament. The group represents Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party, UUP, DUP and Crossbench Peers.

This wide representation, from across the political spectrum in Westminster, is a reflection of the staunch support that Gibraltar enjoys in the United Kingdom. It also shows the high level of interest that exists in Gibraltar issues as we prepare to leave the European Union in March next year.

This year, the DUP Leader, Arlene Foster MLA will be in Gibraltar for National Day for the first time. She was First Minister of Northern Ireland until the power-sharing agreement came to an end, and has always been very supportive. Indeed, she rung the Chief Minister to express support for Gibraltar after the Brexit Referendum and last year met the Deputy Chief Minister in Belfast during the DUP party conference.

The parliamentarians will be given detailed briefings on the political situation, including Brexit matters, by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia. Dr Garcia’s briefing will be at the air terminal and will be followed by a site visit to the air terminal building itself and to the border in order to provide our visitors with first-hand experience of the situation.

The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said:

The Government is delighted to see the level of interest that continues to exist among parliamentarians on Gibraltar issues. This is all the more important this National Day as we prepare to leave the European Union. It is essential that we keep UK politicians up to date on the progress of different issues throughout the year. National Day provides the invaluable opportunity for us to do this to a number of them at the same time. I must also acknowledge the work that Gibraltar House in London and in Brussels have done in getting together the group of MPs, MLAs and MEPs.