Gibraltar Day in London – they think it’s all over, it is now!
The Gibraltar Day in London annual event finally breathed its last in 2015. Although it started as an excellent lobbying tool it morphed into a jamboree for some. The whole event took place over a couple of days normally a mass in Fulham at Our Lady Dolores Church where many Gibraltarians lived during the war. Following this our financiers would invite their ilk to a lunch where they could maintain relationships and take a speech from the CM often announcing measures that would benefit said financiers and attract inward investment. For example Sir Peter Caruana announcing one year Corporate tax in Gibraltar dropping to 10% which had tongues wagging not least Spain who tried to described it as an illegal move and out of EU regulations. How wrong they were.
The Guildhall event was a real pomp and circumstance affair with many political elite from Westminster, business folk from Gibraltar, ex Governors
and ex-pat Gibraltarians sharing the building with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band, songs from other talented Gibraltarians to entertain as well as speeches from the CM and the Minister for Europe who’s remit covered Gibraltar as well as the Lord Mayor of London. Always rousing, always patriotic and often a place to be proud to be Gibraltarian. Especially the final ceremony outside to the Regiment marching resplendent in their red tunics, music pounding away in the chilly London, October air. The facade of the Guildhall shone with the flag of Gibraltar reminding people that though we be a couple of thousand miles away we are as British as it comes.
Mr Picardo announced yesterday the financial aspect will continue and become self financing. The annual mass will still take place separately but the event will become more “focussed to achieve better the political and commercial objectives originally set.” There is no doubting the event had its uses but Mr Picardo rightly in these #Brexit times recognising that we must cut our cloth at home and abroad.