UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty struck a parallel between support for Gibraltar’s British sovereignty and his vote for Brexit during his visit to the Rock.
Docherty said that he was ‘very pleased’ to be in Gibraltar after his original plans to visit on National Day were put off by the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The UK Minister for Europe is heavily involved in talks over an EU treaty with Spain.
“Forge your own destiny,” he told GBC, the national broadcaster of Gibraltar’s desire to remain British, likening it to his constituents’ support for Brexit.
“We’re absolutely committed to the double lock. Sovereignty is off the table,” he said.
“We would never engage in negotiations that were not approved by Gibraltarians in terms of the process and the outcome.”
Docherty said that he learnt more about the strategic naval base and ‘remarkable things Gibraltarians have achieved in terms of the increase of the GDP per capita’ during his stay.
“I’ve had a really good look at the airport and frontier,” he told GBC.
“The movement of frontier workers and mobility generally is a really important component of the negotiations.”
As former defence minister and British Army soldier he spoke glowingly of the NATO connection with the Rock.
“I’ve got a deep respect and admiration for the commitment of Gibraltarians, not just in a military sense, but also in the way you’ve formed an amazingly diverse and buoyant economy here,” Docherty said.
Finally, he said that the Conservative party was in ‘a very good shape’, even after new leader Lizz Truss got an approval rating of just 16% in an Opinium poll recently.