*Holding of Gibexit talks announced *Inappropriate announcement in inappropriate forum by Attorney-General
*Attorney-General not an elected representative
*Supreme Court not a political venue
*Parliament is correct venue and by Chief Minister
*Attorney-General deflects political attention
*Gibraltar involvement in UK Gibexit delegation explained by Constitution Preamble
*Political responsibility squarely lies with Picardo, Garcia and every GSLP-Liberal MP
ATTORNEY-GENERAL OR UNELECTED POLITICIAN?
It is inappropriate for the Attorney-General, Michael Llamas, to have revealed at the ceremony of the Opening of the Legal Year, that negotiations have taken place over the last two days in the effort by the UK and the EU to reach a treaty covering Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU amongst other related matters.
Mr. Llamas is a public officer under the Constitution. He attends negotiations in that capacity. He is not a Member of Parliament. He is not a politician. He cannot represent any views of Gibraltar. He does not have the capacity to do so. He is not elected. He has no popular mandate.
The announcement made by Mr. Llamas is political. It is made in a forum where no political reply or reaction is available except through press comment.
The political nature of his revelation is further emphasised by his having described the negotiations as intense and complex, but that whilst difficult issues remain to be overcome tremendous progress has been achieved in the 12 months that negotiations have continued. It is clear from these statements that the political impetus is to reach agreement.
The correct venue for any disclosure of such a political nature is Parliament. It is for either the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, or the Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia, who are the political components of the Gibraltar delegation at the Gibexit talks, to have made such an announcement in Parliament, and not for the Attorney-General in the Supreme Court. Yet the reality is that Parliament rarely meets, which is rather convenient for the Government these days.
It is that GSLP-Liberal Government that must take the political repercussions of a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’. It is not for an unelected public officer, Mr. Llamas, to deflect from that political responsibility by making political statements in a forum which is and must maintain its apolitical character and in which no debate can take place. To have done what he has done is for him to have tainted the Supreme Court with politics.
Parliament is in the venue that Gibraltar’s elected MPs of all parties can publicly react to an announcement of that nature. There again the GSLP-Liberals have ignored democracy throughout the Gibexit process.
The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister maintain secrecy whilst supposedly and according to them representing all of us without a mandate. They do so on an issue on which our Government have no constitutional power to be involved as it is an external affair, which falls on the Governor and the UK government.
The involvement of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister in the UK delegation can only be explained if inroads are intended to be made into that which is protected by the Preamble to the 2006 Constitution. It is that which is a frightening thought, although both Mr. Picardo and Mr. Garcia reassure us that no inroads will be made into British sovereignty, jurisdiction, and control. Is that possibly what the Attorney General is deflecting attention from?
The Preamble does not allow any inroads to be made into our remaining part of His Majesty’s dominions unless an Act of the UK Parliament changes it, and that no arrangements will be entered “under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes”.
The people of Gibraltar are democratically represented at present by the GSLP-Liberal Government which is represented at the Gibexit talks by Fabian Picardo and Joseph Garcia, not Michael Llamas, the Attorney General. His function must be advisory.
POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY LIES SQUARELY WITH THE GSLP-LIBERALS
It is for Fabian Picardo and Joseph Garcia and all other elected GSLP-Liberal MPs individually to take full political responsibility. It is the GSLP-Liberal MPs who are ostensibly authorising and empowering the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister to participate in the Gibexit talks and reach agreement or not reach agreement to a ‘deal’.
There is no such authority given to them by our Parliament.
It is not for statements made by the Attorney-General or any other unrepresentative individual to deflect from that clear political responsibility owed by each individual MP of the GSLP-Liberal Government to every Gibraltarian.
The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister and each elected GSLP-Liberal MP are fully responsible politically to the entire electorate for what may come out of those ongoing Gibexit talks.
All public announcements so far indicate that a treaty will be agreed.