Odd Week of Brexit Politics Saw Cordoba Agreement Resurrected

Leo Olivero

It’s been quite a muddled, questionable and in parts, unconvincing week in local Brexit politics.

Local leading figures, have not only turned heads, but confused people even more. Leading lights like the Chief Minister, the Governor, the Mayor of La Linea, our friend Sr Jose Margallo, the Deputy Chief Minister, not to be left out, even ‘10 Downing St’ also played its part. In what I can only describe as a seriously odd week of Brexit Politics! 

London Issues Diplomatic Reaction to Chief Minister’s Schengen Headlines

The Chief Minister got the week off to a controversial start, well he did as far Panorama was concerned. When Mr. Picardo last weekend conducted an interview with the Associated Press or AFP where they reported, that Gibraltar’s first Minister was considering joining the EU’s Schengen open borders area to limit the disruption caused by Brexit. A story that may have gone down well with some locally, but not with the majority people, who understandably, are hugely sceptical to say the least!

Of course, this news, coming when it did, in the week when Brexit negotiations between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar were due to start. I still cannot understand why the ‘Schengen issue’ was ever mentioned at all…the timing in my opinion…was lousy!

Mr. Picrado’s AFP interview on the Schengen issue made world headlines, for the wrong reasons. This if the reaction from Boris Johnsons residence in Downing Street is anything to go, after a Spokesman at No 10 dished-out what appeared to be a reminder to the world, particularly, to Madrid, Brussels and sadly Gibraltar, ‘just who was heading and in charge of the Brexit talks’ where it concerned Gibraltar’s Brexit future. It really appeared as a rebuke, and slight tap on the wrist response to the CM’s AFP interview. London have never reacted towards Gibraltar in such a swift Brexit way!

Governor Has Hardly Spoken on Political Issues - When he Does - He Puts His Foot in It!

The Governor also hit the main news headlines, similarly for the wrong reasons. Though his initial intentions may have not been what later emerged, when he referred to the MoU’s and Brexit agreement in another press interview featured in the Chronicle early in the week. This also drew negative reaction, this time from inside parliament from the leader of the Opposition Keith Azopardi who thought it ‘inappropriate’. My opinion, is that the governor was actually too late in his stay in Gibraltar, to voice any kind of opinion on Gibraltar affairs, when he has largely remained (publicly) verbally dormant throughout his tenure on these kinds of matters.

There have been many issues during his term in office involving Gibraltar, where the governor could have voiced a public opinion of sort … but hasn’t. But even those constitutional matters that do come with his role as governor, like Policing and the welfare of officers, he now leaves in a disturbing mess. Where 80% of RGP officers still continue to annually complain of Bullying. The governor has effectively done nothing, as officers still complain of the same!

So yes, Mr. Azzopardi does have a point where the governor is concerned. I will not be as dainty as Mr. Azopardi and simply say, that the governor in my opinion “should not have stuck his nose where it wasn’t needed or required” and on Brexit, of all issues!

Garcia Deputy Chief Minister Ensures Gibraltar Leaves EU Legally

On a far less controversial matter, Dr Joseph Garcia Deputy Chief Minister and Minister related to our departure from the European Union made a marathon address in parliament this week. One, where he presented the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill that was passed which allows that in 7 days’ time on Friday of next week Gibraltar and the UK will leave the European Union...TOGETHER!