Dear Sir,

Many supporters of our Movement wonder what advancements our Movement has made in our campaign for Representation in Westminster and to correct the Parliamentary Deficit that Gibraltarians suffers as BRITISH CITIZENS.

Our Movement started in 1998/99 as the DEVOLVED INTEGRATION MOVEMENT a concept started by Lyana Armstrong-Emery and followed by former Integrationist Minister Joe Caruana. 

During 1996 we wrote on this subject to the GSD Government who happened to be in power but after the exchange of a couple of letters the CM of the day refused further contact with us.

In 2011 the GSLP/Liberal Alliance came into power and our Movement did not lose time in asking the CM, Fabian Picardo for a meeting so we could officially place our proposals for Devolved Integration on the table.

It was after this first meeting with the CM and DCM that we decided to change the name of the Movement to Representation in Westminster. We realized that Integration was an Option of the 1960s that was no longer relevant given the level of Devolution gained in the 1969 and 2006 Constitutions, the only area where we needed to integrate was in the area of UK’s Parliamentary system whilst retaining all our devolved powers and thereby becoming a Devolved Region of the UK, making the process of assimilation much easier than would be the process of Integrating. Many UK MPs were voicing this idea of Representation.

For the next five years we met with HMGOG several times and gradually advanced our respective understanding of each other’s views. We issued scores of Press Releases and went on TV on several occasions explaining our views in the early years the idea of Brexit was yet not on the table.

Urged by public interest, and now the approach of Brexit, in 2018 we decided to start a campaign of awareness and collecting signatures.

We installed a stand at Main Street in front of the Piazza and outside the ICC; we did this almost every weekend for a whole year. We embarked on visiting most of the major housing Estates around town.

a) In the end we collected over 11,500 signatures from residents, (this became the biggest number of signatures ever collected in Gibraltar), and over 3,000 signatures from British Citizens visiting Gibraltar, a total of over 14,000 signatures, including the CM, DCM, Speaker of the House and several GSD members.

b) Importantly HMGOG agreed to sponsor a contingent of seven members of our Committee to visit the UK to deliver our Petition to the Prime Minister of G. Britain Mrs T. May at No.10 Downing Street and to the Minister of State the Hon. Alan Duncan and the House of Common’s Speaker.

c) In the December 2000 Enfranchisement Bill, A. Mackinlay, W. Cash, F. Turner, G.Smith, A. Heath, L. Hoyle, D. Ruffley, R. Spring, A. Rosindell all said “It was about time that Gibraltar had a voice in this House”.

d) The FAC of 1998/9 was all about Representation, where Sir Peter Caruana made some positive contributions in this respect. (Report is available).

e) At the same time the Hon. Craig Mackinlay MP introduced the ‘Gibraltar Representation Bill’ in the H o C this Motion was signed by the Hons. H.Faron, D. Kawcznski, Priti Patel, A. Rosindell, S.Wilson, plus five others.

d) Together with the Hon. Andrew Rosindell Craig Mackinlay accompanied our contingent both to No.10 and the House of Commons

e) In 2019 former Cabinet Minister John Penrose, gave a lengthy and positive reason in favour of Representation (GC. 17th January).

f) On the 9th instant the Chairman of the Parliamentary Overseas Committee was urging that Gibraltar’s and the BOT case for Representation ought to go on the fast-track for approval so that Gibraltar would get Representation in Westminster quickly.

The reply we got from both the Prime Minister and the Minister of State for Europe was that they are “always prepared to discuss/listen to any proposal coming from the Government of Gibraltar”.

We therefore believe that the ball is now on the court side of HMGOG who needs to make a decision to ask for Representation on this matter and not wait for an “Offer”.

HMGOG has advised us to make a submission to the forthcoming Constitutional Parliamentary Reform Committee when this is convened, however we fear this will take a long time to accomplish and as it stands at the moment the Parliamentary Reform Committee process is not satisfactory, it needs to be further explained to us that the process of judging all the issues presented will be a just one.

You will agree with us that the process explained encountered over these years were involved and that the Representation in Westminster Movement has done a very great job in the service of Gibraltar and has brought this matter to its present decisive point.

For the Representation in Westminster Movement

Joe L. Caruana GMD, MBE.

18-02-2020 PANORAMAdailyGIBRALTAR