The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has written to the Chief Minister to offer the full support of the UK Government in Gibraltar’s fight against Coronavirus. The letter, dated 28 March, begins with a pledge from Mr Johnson that ‘We are committed to standing with you and supporting you during this difficult time.’
The Prime Minister goes on to explain that, despite some inflexible EU regulations, the Secretary of State for International Trade has accelerated the delivery of additional supplies of Personal Protective Equipment to Gibraltar. The letter also notes that Spain has agreed not to hinder the delivery of this equipment.
In terms of the economic impact of the current crisis, Mr Johnson says that he wants ‘to offer clear and unequivocal reassurance to you that we will support the Government of Gibraltar as you manage these challenging economic consequences.’
The Prime Minister goes on to say that he is pleased to hear that British Forces Gibraltar are providing military assistance to the Government of Gibraltar and he notes that the Governor ‘will provide every possible support in confronting the impact of this crisis.’
In a particularly significant offer, Mr Johnson says that the UK would consider how best it could provide further support if Gibraltar had a serious need for additional healthcare staff.
The Prime Minister’s letter concludes with the words, ‘We are facing difficult times ahead; I wanted to end by sending you my personal thanks and best wishes for the task we are facing together.’
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, said, ‘At such a critical time in Gibraltar’s modern history, it is important to know that we have the Prime Minister’s full support. His pledge of practical and economic assistance are reassuring but, equally important, is the simple fact that, despite having contracted Coronavirus himself, he is still thinking about the needs of the people of Gibraltar. I was very touched to receive his letter and I shall reply to tell him so.’