My dear fellow Gibraltarians,
This morning, I held an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet and the Parliamentary party.
Earlier today, I visited His Excellency the Governor and advised him, under Section 38(1) of the Constitution to issue a PROCLAMATION to dissolve Parliament.
That PROCLAMATION will be published in an EXTRAORDINARY GAZETTE today.
I have also advised His Excellency, under the provisions of Section 20 of the Parliament Act to issue the necessary writ, under the Public Seal of Gibraltar, to convene the 2023 General Election for Thursday the 12th of October.
The last four years have been, without doubt, the toughest four years this community has ever faced.
Gibraltar’s Pandemic Parliament has also been the backdrop to the toughest negotiations any Government of Gibraltar has ever been engaged upon as we have sought to agree the long and detailed terms upon which we would build our future relationship with the EU.
With grit and determination, we pushed through COVID.
And with the same grit and determination we have done everything in our power to defend Gibraltar’s interests through Brexit.
Our work on the Withdrawal Agreement ensured we have avoided the hardest Brexit.
To date, our work has ensured that we have been able to avoid the worst of the negative implications leaving the EU could have had on Gibraltar.
We are in advanced discussions with officials from the EU, Spain and the U.K.
We are on the cusp of a historic deal in which all parties will win and none will lose.
For me, and the GSLP Liberal team that I have led for 12 years, a deal can only be done if it respects the red lines we hold dear.
British sovereignty over the whole of Gibraltar is not up for sale in exchange for any deal.
However sweet the carrot or hard the stick, my answer will never change.
Now, the question of whether a deal is safe for Gibraltar will be a matter for the person you choose as your Chief Minister after the 12th October.
So, as we embark on this election campaign, let me make something very clear:
Gibraltar hasn’t come this far to only come this far.
During the now dissolved Pandemic Parliament, with COVID raging, we still built more affordable housing than other administrations managed in ‘normal’ times.
In the Pandemic Parliament we have built and opened THREE new schools, more than the previous Government did in a full 16 years in office.
In 12 years, we have invested in 10 new schools.
With your confidence, I have opened more new schools than any other Chief Minister.
4400 children in our community already benefit from that investment.
You cannot have first class education delivered in second or third class schools.
Our focus on education, education, education has been the lynchpin of Gibraltar’s economic success over the years.
Since the creation of mandatory university scholarships, it is the GSLP Liberals who have set the strongest foundations for our strong economic performance over such a long period of time.
For the last 12 years, we have been getting the job done.
In housing, in education, in health and on the environment. On equality, justice and the social issues, we have been getting the job done of building a modern, vibrant community that cherishes freedom of choice and mutual respect among its citizens.
Getting the job of Chief Minister done requires commitment, conviction and connection.
The commitment to put everything to one side and to put Gibraltar first.
The conviction of knowing that you’re on the right side of history and driving forward no matter what; and
The connection to all those you come across, friend or foe, citizen or counterpart elsewhere in the world – without this connection, Gibraltar’s interests and the wishes of the Gibraltarians, can never be fully understood, defended or advanced.
The three qualities demanded of a Chief Minister today are the three qualities by which you will judge the suitability of myself or others who may seek to win your vote, for getting the job done after the 12 October.
My dear fellow Gibraltarians,
GIBRALTAR DIDN’T COME THIS FAR TO ONLY COME THIS FAR.
Through challenge after unprecedented challenge, the GSLP Liberals have brought Gibraltar to where it is now.
We are the team with the vision and the commitment to push on through to the next episode in the wonderful story of the people of Gibraltar.
We have done so much.
We have so much still to do.
And now is NOT the time in our collective history as a people to change the team getting things done and keeping Gibraltar safe.
With your support on the 12th of October, we will continue to get the job done.
And with your support on the 12th of October, we will continue to Keep Gibraltar Safe.
NOTES TO EDITORS
GIBRALTAR CONSTITUTION, SECTION 38
- (1) Subject to subsection (3), the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Chief Minister, shall at any time by Proclamation published in the Gazette dissolve the Parliament.
PARLIAMENT ACT, SECTION 20
Issue of Writ.
- (1) For the purpose of every general election of members to the Parliament, and for the purpose of every election to supply a vacancy arising otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of the Parliament, the Governor shall issue a writ, under the Public Seal of Gibraltar, directed to the returning officer, directing him to cause election to be made according to law, of such number of members as are specified in the writ, to serve in the Parliament.
(2) Every such writ shall also specify the day of election which shall not be less than thirty days after the day on which the writ is received by the returning officer.
(3) Upon receipt of such writ the returning officer shall endorse thereon and sign the date of the receipt thereof.