Amid the EU’s increased pressure on the British Overseas Territory, Fabian Picardo claimed the Rock will continue to be part of the United Kingdom post-Brexit. In light of negotiations with the EU over the running of the crucial border, Mr Picardo insisted the sovereignty of the Rock will never be harmed. Celebrating Gibraltar’s National Day, Mr Picardo said the territory will never “cede control” over its future to any foreign power.
He said: “On the 10th September 1967 we made a choice.
“We chose to remain British. And today we commemorate and celebrate that choice.
“In the same way as our forefathers said then, we are clear.
“This land is our land. The soil of Gibraltar belongs to no one but the people of Gibraltar.
“The soil of Gibraltar will belong to no one but the people of Gibraltar.
“No one but the Gibraltarians will decide the future of this, our land.
“And we will never make or permit any concessions on our sovereignty.
“We will preserve and maintain full jurisdiction and control over our land and every part of our sea and air.
“That is not just our position. It is the position of the United Kingdom too.”
In his defiant speech, the chief minister also commented on the negotiations surrounding the border with Spain.
Last December, the UK, Gibraltar, and Spain gave greater presence to Frontex – the bloc’s border force.
Gibraltar also agreed to apply the same duties and measures as the EU to allow the flow of goods easily.
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In March, Dominic Raab and Mr Picardo agreed a joint approach to negotiations over a new Gibraltar treaty between the EU and UK.
In July, the European Commission adopted a recommendation for a Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an EU-UK agreement on Gibraltar.
Mr Picardo concluded: “We will be clear in that negotiation: Only we will decide who enters or does not enter Gibraltar.
“We will never cede that decision-making power to anyone.
“I will work every day – not just on National Day – to protect the Gibraltarians, our land and our way of life.
“And to ensure that we protect our right to self-determination by ensuring that we turn the corner of COVID and Brexit and once again set our nation on a course of guaranteed self-sufficiency.”
Following the release of the EU’s draft mandate, Mr Raab claimed Brussels was attempting to undermine the UK’s sovereignty.
In particular, the EU’s draft mandate gives Spain greater authority to apply and implement certain provisions of the future agreement.