The exclusive Scottish Independence Referendum taking place in September next also poses a number of questions for the people of Gibraltar. Implementation of a ‘Yes’ vote will mean that Great Britain will no longer continue to exist. Consequently, Gibraltarians will need to choose whether their national identity is English or Welsh, if not Scottish.
Dissolution of the UK is also widely accepted as resulting in its component nations leaving the EU. Therefore, the Gibraltar government will have to consider whether it remains in membership – if it is given the choice.
None of the other political parties vying for Gibraltarian votes in the impending elections to the European Parliament have raised these considerations preferring, instead, to ignore them and hope they go away.
However, Gibraltarians should be in no doubt that English Democrats do not want England to remain a member of the EU and we would oppose any application to re-join. Even so, English Democrats policy here is unequivocal and, in the event of English Independence, we would offer to guarantee the right of self-determination to current British Overseas Territories, such self-determination could include the option of becoming English Overseas Territories which, of course, include Gibraltar.
We see the EU as a millstone which, for example, has been ineffective in remedying the bad relations between Gibraltar and Spain, ironically two members. Ironically, EU interference in Ukraine has increased international tension despite the long repeated justification by its supporters of maintaining peace.
We regard the Spanish Government’s action in excluding Gibraltar from draft EU legislation intended to harmonise air traffic control as despicable. The Spaniards’ callous disregard of the potential safety benefits to be gained from better air traffic control is contemptible but consistent with its numerous maritime incursions of Gibraltarian waters.
At the very least, the SNP’s repeated demands for Britain’s nuclear weapons to be removed from Scotland create unacceptable doubt about retaining Defence facilities in Faslane. Thus the need to make other arrangements affords opportunity, by agreement, to use Gibraltar Harbour as a naval base again. The presence of Royal Navy warships will in itself deter Spanish encroachment upon Gibraltar’s waters.
Increased Defence expenditure rendering Gibraltar Harbour ‘ship-shape’ will boost the local economy in a number of ways. The new sights of navy ships and activity are likely to attract more visitors. There should be increased employment and finance flowing through local businesses . . . shops, hotels etc.
Leaving the EU means leaving the huge pile of regulation and restriction devised by faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats. It creates freedom to enter into bi-lateral agreements without needing to comply with endless EU restrictive conditions. We will be free to continue trading with EU countries; after all, we import more from them than we export to them. Importantly, we will be free to increase trade and other links with the Commonwealth which we turned our backs on in 1973.
Recent history has indicated that other Brit parties in government would not be unhappy to see the Spanish flag flying over Gibraltar’s public buildings. Electors in Gibraltar should be in no doubt that English Democrats not only oppose that but wish to see an end to EU flags being flown on the territory also!