A referendum will be held in Gibraltar on Thursday the 23rd June 2016 on whether the United Kingdom should remain a Member State of the European Union.

The referendum will be convened under the provisions of the European Union (Referendum) Act, which was passed by the Parliament last month.

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, ha s called the referendum for that date in the United Kingdom, thereby triggering the referendum for Gibraltar on that date also.

The Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia MP , said: "We have done a lot of work to ensure that Gibraltar was ready for the EU referendum to be convened when the Prime Minister was ready. Now we start the work of campaigning to support David Cameron and to make the case for Gibraltar and for Europe in coming weeks and months. I am today in Brussels working from our office here to continue our work of lobbying to ensure a better understanding of Gibraltar issues across the EU."

The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: "Throughout the meeting of the European Council last week, Michael Llamas QC was in Brussels working with the Gibraltar Office to liaise with UKREP and Foreign Office and Cabinet Office officials on the details of the renegotiated texts. That ensured we were kept entirely up to date with all developments as they happened and that Gibraltar could ensure that our vital interests were not in any way disregarded. I was in touch from Thursday with the Minister for Europe and I know that the issues that were of concern to Gibraltar were very much in the consciousness of the British negotiating team - not least the Prime Minister who has repeatedly demonstrated his support for Gibraltar. I will therefore be supporting the Prime Minister in his campaign for the United Kingdom to remain a Member State of the European Union. There is no reasonable alternative for Gibraltar to the certainty of membership of the EU via our relationship with the UK. Even with all its faults, the EU has been an important driver of the prosperity we enjoy in Gibraltar today. We are sometimes frustrated at the way the EU Commission has failed Gibraltar in respect of frontier fluidity and our rights to access the EU Single Sky provisions, to name just two areas. But the freedom of movement of people, capital and services provides us with an open frontier and access to the single market of 520 million people. We cannot give up the access and benefits we have today without any certainty as to what the status of those rights of freedom of movement and market access might be if the UK were not a member of the EU. With the  renegotiation he has achieved, David Cameron has secured the best of both worlds for those in the UK who rightly wanted some aspects of the workings of the EU addressed and for those of us in Gibraltar and the UK who want to see Britain leading the next generation of the EU's development. Those who are friends of Gibraltar in the United Kingdom who campaign to leave the EU need to factor these issues into their thoughts. I look forward to making the argument for Gibraltar and for Europe in the coming months."