Gibraltar is proposing a constitution that would remove some powers reserved to the United Kingdom

The Government of Gibraltar has sent a working document to the Procedure Committee of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, proposing a constitutional reform that would remove the reserved powers held by the British Government in the Rock, allowing it to legislate through the powers of the Gibraltar Executive.

Currently, the Picardo Executive has expressed satisfaction that various departments in the UK Government have appointed a Minister responsible for understanding the “specific concerns, issues and challenges” faced by the Overseas Territories in order to find a better solution to any problem that may arise. .

However, Gibraltar insists on exercising its constitutional legislative powers through the Gibraltar Parliament. In this context, he believes that it is unacceptable to maintain the capital’s reservations in the next constitution.

“The day-to-day management of Gibraltar’s affairs rests solely with its Government and Parliament. Some legislation passed by Westminster may, directly or indirectly, affect Gibraltar’s interests. Likewise, the United Kingdom has interests with which it wishes Gibraltar to remain allied.” He adds: “Therefore, while the Government of Gibraltar firmly believes that Gibraltar must always remain in a constitutional and political relationship with the United Kingdom, the British Family of Nations and the Commonwealth, we are firmly convinced that His Majesty’s powers to legislate over the heads of the elected Government of Gibraltar for the sake of ‘peace’. and ‘order and good government’ of Gibraltar, which is currently reserved to the United Kingdom, should be removed from the constitutional instruments of Gibraltar.

In its proposal, “the Government of Gibraltar considers that its 2006 Constitution should be updated to take into account the impact of the decision to leave the European Union and the development of self-determination for Gibraltar and the people of Gibraltar.”

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Gibraltar claims a seat at Westminster without diminishing its capacity for self-government

He stressed, “We firmly believe that any new constitution must provide for the representation of the people of Gibraltar in one or both of the Houses of Parliament at Westminster.”

In a three-page report to the committee, the Gibraltar government also reflected on the 2006 constitution and prospects for reform, including representation at Westminster.

In a report published by its director Brian Rees in The Gibraltar Chronicle, the proposal to the aforementioned select committee insists that Gibraltar “must remain permanently in a constitutional and political relationship with the United Kingdom, and that any reform of the 2006 constitution must provide for representation in one of the two chambers.” Parliament or both at Westminster.

If this initiative succeeds, Gibraltar could have direct representation in the House of Commons or in the House of Lords, through organized elections that do not rely on the mediation of the multi-party group that assumes the representation of Gibraltar’s interests, but without the presence of any representative. Senator-elect right on the rock.

None of the so-called Overseas Territories have formal representation in the UK Parliament, but they do have such informal representation through the All Party Parliamentary Group and can petition the UK Government via the electronic petitions website Directgov.

Since 2015, a group known as Friends of the British Overseas Territories, FOTBOT, has floated the possibility of providing them with their own seats, and in the same year launched exploratory balloons in this regard at the annual conferences of British political parties. There are differences within the two Chambers in this regard, although there is a need to establish precautions on the matter and even differentiate treatment based on the needs of each of these places under the British flag but far from its capital.

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In May of this year, it was learned that the Falkland Islands aspired to have an elected representative, and in Gibraltar this hypothesis had been under consideration for some time. During the election campaign leading up to the elections on October 12, the government and the opposition agreed on the need to promote constitutional reform during this legislative body.

Gibraltar will renew its constitution during the current legislative session

The document sent from Gibraltar to the Committee insists that the legislative capacity of the local parliament be preserved and that such direct representation at Westminster, if it occurs, should not diminish but rather improve self-government.

The document submitted by the local government said: “Gibraltar has no desire or ambition to interfere or influence the internal affairs or day-to-day affairs of the United Kingdom within Parliament.” However, the opportunity to be able to express and articulate Gibraltar’s concerns in Parliament could have a significant impact in ensuring that the UK, simply by being unaware of our very specific needs and circumstances, unknowingly legislates in a way that has serious impact. A negative impact on the affairs and interests of Gibraltar.

The proposal itself states that “having an MP who could voice Gibraltar’s specific concerns and interests in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as exchange views ‘in the corridors’ with their colleagues, would help to promote a new, more modern system.” The relationship between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.

The Chronicle reports: “The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, asked the House of Commons Procedure Committee to consider options regarding the representation of the Overseas Territories in the House of Commons committee mechanism and procedure generally.”

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“The committee’s inquiry, which has now ceased taking evidence, is examining issues such as the role of the UK Parliament in making legislation extending to Overseas Territories and whether it is adequately represented in the process; whether the Commons committee system provides a means for Parliament to work with OTs; What level of representation at Westminster would be most effective for OTs and what procedural steps would be required; and how arrangements for OTs compare with those for Crown dependencies.

However, in its evidence before the committee, Brian Rees reported, the Gibraltar government stated that, as a result of Brexit, it was working “more closely and directly” with the UK government “than at any other time in recent decades.” ».

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