The Chief Minister yesterday jointly hosted, together with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, a lunch at St James's Palace for a delegation from all the parties represented in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gibraltar. His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, was also in attendance.
During the lunch, Mr Picardo thanked the Group for their continued support for Gibraltar in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords.
The Chief Minister went through some of the latest developments in Gibraltar on matters related to COVID and the arrival of refugees from Ukraine to the Rock.
Mr Picardo also advised the members of the APPG present of his strong optimism that there might be an agreement in a UK/EU Treaty in relation to Gibraltar before the Easter break, or shortly thereafter, despite the setbacks to the timetable of negotiations which arises from the current security situation in eastern Europe.
The Chief Minister said: 'It was a real pleasure to host a representative group of the APPG on Gibraltar.
'We greatly missed Bob Neil, who was unable to attend as he had contracted COVID.
'I gave them an update on all things Gibraltar and confirmed, on the eve of the start of another round of talks with the EU, as I have in Gibraltar already, my strong optimism that we can secure an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union before Easter or shortly thereafter.
'The Group restated that they were ready to support Gibraltar as required in the event that the government felt any action were to be required in the Commons or the Lord's, a position for which I thanked all present on behalf of the People of Gibraltar.'