Gibraltar needs its own MP now, says influential MP Andrew Rosindell

GIBRALTAR needs its own representative to sit in the House of Commons - and should be fast-tracked into the UK as soon as possible, an influential Tory MP has said.

Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford in Essex, is campaigning for all residents of British Overseas Territories (BOT) - estimated population 265,000 as of last year - to get their own MPs. And he believes Gibraltar, which as the only such territory in Europe occupies a unique position among the 14 BOTs, should be first in the queue. Gibraltar has been in British hands since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, with Spain maintaining a historic claim, and keen to put the issue of sovereignty on the agenda as UK and EU negotiators attempt to thrash out a free trade agreement by the end of the year.

And Mr Rosindell, chairman of the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on the British Overseas Territories in the last Parliament, believes effectively incorporating the Rock into the UK would significantly undercut Madrid’s argument, says a report in the Daily Express.

The paper recalls that two years ago, 40 percent of the Rock’s 23,000 voters - including Chief Minister Fabian Picardo - signed a petition calling for Westminster representation.

Mr Rosindell told “With Gibraltar, the situation is clear.

“It’s also got a big enough population to warrant its own MP – comparable with that of the Western Isles in Scotland.

He says Gibraltar should gets its own MP sooner rather than later.

With Brexit now a reality, and Madrid pushing to exclude the Rock from any trade deal, Mr Rosindell said he saw little reason for the UK to drag its heels on the issue.

He added: “It could be done straight away by passing an Act of Parliament which I don’t think would be opposed by many MPs."