will not be supporting tomorrows demonstration organised by Mr C Benyunes. At last
weeks Council of Representative Bodies the overwhelming consensus (including the
Voice of Gibraltar Group) was that timing, organisation and message were of the essence.
Such initiatives should be co-ordinated on a broad, cross community basis, to
ensure that they take place when their impact and effect is most needed and will be most
effective for and beneficial to Gibraltars cause. These judgements cannot be made on
an ad hoc basis in an unco-ordinated manner.
The Government also condemns the Voice of Gibraltar Groups
introduction into this demonstration of partisan political issues that have nothing to do
with keeping Gibraltar British, and therefore destroy all prospect of unity.
The Government also notes the Oppositions statement to-day
that "it has now been revealed that the UK is prepared to agree a Statement of
Principle with Spain committing itself to share the sovereignty of Gibraltar" and
that we need to prevent this from happening. The Chief Minister has been cautioning
publicly about this very thing. Mr Bossanos response was to accuse the Chief
Minister of "splitting hairs" and of confusing the public. The Government is
glad that Mr Bossano has, at last, understood the vital difference between a done deal
(such as the agreement on principles) that survive a referendum and mere proposals that
disappear without lingering consequences if rejected in referendum. Mr Bossano would
contribute much more to the defence of Gibraltar if he could control his knee jerk
instinct to contradict and undermine everything that the Chief Minister says.
The Government is awaiting a response from the Foreign Secretary
to the Chief Ministers request for an assurance that the UK will not enter into
"done deals", including as publicly explained by the Chief Minister, concessions
of principle and sovereignty to Spain. This is a vital issue for Gibraltar. The Government
will react according to whether or not it receives this assurance.
The Opposition now seeks to organise yet another demonstration
on Monday. This will be the third demonstration in 12 days, each organised by a different
group. Gibraltars interests cannot be advanced or protected in this haphazard way,
and confirms the wisdom of the consensus adopted by the Council of Representative bodies.