Gibraltar election CALLED: Parliament dissolved - 'Need strong leadership for Brexit'

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo dissolved Parliament on Monday and called for an election to be held on October 17. Mr Picardo, who is now the acting Chief Minister, hopes to secure a “renewed strong mandate” to take Gibraltar through and beyond Brexit. Speaking at a press briefing he said: “Gibraltar will need settled and strong leadership going into Brexit, especially if there is also to be an election in the UK and potentially in Spain thereafter.”

The election will be contested by three political parties, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and Liberal alliance, the Gibraltar Social Democrats and Together Gibraltar.

The date of the snap vote coincides with the next meeting of the European Council, at which leaders are expected to attend to discuss Brexit.

Gibraltar's Parliament consists of just 17 seats, with nine seats needed for a working majority.

Mr Picardo's party, which formed an alliance with the Liberal Party, currently has 10 seats.

Gibraltar recently stepped up no deal Brexit preparations by extending port facilities to be able to handle more ships carrying goods as part of contingency plans.

There have been concerns that Gibraltar's open land border with Spain would be affected by Brexit, especially given long-running tensions with Madrid since Britain seized control in 1704. 

Gilbert Licudi, minister with responsibility for port and maritime affairs, said that after carrying out infrastructure work, Gibraltar’s port could handle a greater volume from container ships and other vessels bringing in food and medicine.

He added that lorries Gibraltar could exit by ferry to the nearby Spanish port of Algeciras if administrative checks increased at the land border.


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