In what marks the start of a campaign to bring together Gibraltar’s key representative and civil society organisations, the newly formed ‘Gibraltar Stronger In Europe’ board met today with the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and the Leader of the Opposition Daniel Feetham, who, in their capacities as party leaders, have confirmed their wholehearted support for the Stronger In Campaign.
The Gibraltar Stronger In Europe Campaign is an official partner of the Britain Stronger In Europe Campaign in the UK, and aims to inform the public about the reasons why the Rock should remain in the EU. The partnership aims to take the Rock’s position to the centre of the debate in Britain.
Local volunteers for the Gibraltar campaign are led by Gemma Vasquez, Chair of the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses and partner at Hassans. The board members are: Brian Cardona, Albert Danino, Dennis Beiso, Ivan Navas, Andrew Bonfante, Kenneth Cardona and Caine Sanchez.
Following legal measures introduced by the Government of Gibraltar that were agreed with the UK Government, the process of campaigning is strictly governed by the rules set out by the Electoral Commission. It is expected that Britain Stronger in Europe will be the official designated referendum campaigner for the ‘remain’ campaign for all of the UK including Gibraltar.
Over the coming weeks the Board of Gibraltar Stronger in Europe, working with the its partners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, will be setting out the reasons why it is important that as many Gibraltarians as are eligible cast their vote in favour of remaining as a part of the EU.
Apart from the support from the three main parties - GSLP, The Liberal Party and the GSD - the Gibraltar Stronger in Europe campaign is in the process of enlisting support from the community’s key institutions and representative bodies including trades unions and representatives of commerce and all sectors of Gibraltarians society.
The Gibraltar Stronger In Europe Campaign are arranging for premises in a central location on Main Street, and will be recruiting volunteers to assist in the campaign.
The campaign will be officially launched next Tuesday at the Piazza, where the organisers will be asking members of the public to sign up to the campaign.
A dinner to raise funds and awareness has been organised for Thursday 14 April at the Sunborn Gibraltar with the Right Honourable Simon Hughes (former Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties) as speaker.
Gibraltar Stronger in Europe chair, Mrs Vasquez, made a strong appeal to all Gibraltar to ensure that those eligible check that they are registered to vote even if they expect to be away from Gibraltar on the key date.
“Every single vote cast in Gibraltar will count. Not just towards the decision for the UK as a whole but also in reflecting on June 24th how strongly Gibraltar feels about the importance of continued membership of the EU. Being European has allowed us to win many rights and battles. Our quality of life and the values we promote, be they workers’ rights or ensuring our industries can sell their goods into Europe, are largely hinged on decades of hard work that we have all put into meeting the challenge of EU membership,” said Mrs Vasquez.
“The flow of people, services and goods which means finance centre business, tourism and employment generally all depend on the EU for stability. We know only too well who wants to make our life more difficult. This is about securing a better future.
“I call on all Gibraltar to mobilise and ensure, with the support of our entire political class, that we make our united voice heard across Europe and through the UK. Please enlist and support us in what ever way you feel you can,” said Mrs Vasquez.
Information on how to support Gibraltar Stronger in Europe will be distributed shortly.