By John Smith •
Published: 14 Sep 2020 • 12:12
FOR the first time ever, the political leaders of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales sent individual messages of support to Gibraltar as it celebrated its National Day last week.
Video messages came from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster and Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, wishing the Rock a happy National Day.
Boris Johnson stated: “The past few months have been difficult for all of us and it’s sadly clear that this awful virus is not yet done with us or with Gibraltar so far.
“We’ve been working with the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, who’s done an absolutely stellar job this year to make sure you have the medical supplies you need to keep your people healthy and the financial security you need to keep your economy running”.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon was also steadfast in her support to Gibraltar: “I can assure you that, as we face the challenges of the months ahead, Scotland will continue to work in that spirit of cooperation and internationalism.
“I know that Scotland and Gibraltar will continue to enjoy a close friendship in the future and I hope that, despite the circumstances, you all have an enjoyable and safe Gibraltar National Day.”
For his part, the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said: “We look forward again this year to welcoming students from Gibraltar who come to study here in Wales at our national universities.
On behalf of all the people of Wales, I send the warmest greetings on Gibraltar National Day.”
The First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster added: “It’s clear to me that we share the same strength of character power by resilience, energy and determination.
“Let me wish your Chief Minister, and friend Fabian, and indeed all of you and the most beautiful part of the world, a very safe and happy Gibraltar National Day. I look forward to being with you again very soon.”
The First Secretary of State, Dominic Raab, also emphasised the UK’s undisputed support for Gibraltarians in a message posted to social media: “On Gibraltar National Day, I want to reiterate the UK’s support for Gibraltar and its people. Today the Gibraltar flag flies over the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as we celebrate your proud history and place in the UK family”.
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, expressed his gratitude for the messages of support.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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