Kevin Foster, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Torbay, has today (10th September 2013) sent his very best wishes to all those celebrating Gibraltar Day.
In a letter to the UK Representative of the Government of Gibraltar he emphasised that the links between the Rock and the UK are not based on a three hundred year old treaty, but on the democratic choice of the people who live there.
Kevin said: “This year has seen the community of Gibraltar face a range of harassment from their neighbour because they continue to express their desire to be British. This is not an issue of defending the last imperial outposts, but of showing solidarity with those who wish to fly our flag over their rock. Gibraltar showed rock solid support for the UK when our own freedoms were under threat and it is only right that we now show our support for them.”
He added: “It can be no coincidence that the Spanish Government has decided to start a row over Gibraltar at a time when it faces a large number of domestic difficulties. Each day many Spaniards are welcomed to the Rock in order to take advantage of the unique employment opportunities it offers. Instead of harassing them Madrid should focus on tackling the real issues facing Spain.”
Kevin’s Letter to Albert Poggio, UK Representative of the Government of Gibraltar:
Alberto Poggio OBE,
150 The Strand,
10th September 2013
Dear Mr Poggio,
After all the recent debate about Gibraltar I wanted to write wishing you, and the whole of the community which calls the rock its home, the very best for your day of celebration.
I know that many residents of the bay value the steadfast support Gibraltar gave when the very future of our democracy was at stake. My Grandfather served throughout the war years in the Royal Navy and the Rock of Gibraltar, or “Gib” as he called it, was a symbol of strength in the fight against facism in the Mediterranean, the main purpose of which was to ensure self-determination for the peoples of Europe.
I know that the modern day links between the UK and Gibraltar are rightly based on the free choice of those who live there, not just a three hundred year old treaty. It is a particular source of pride that my home region, the South West, is paired with the rock for representation in the European Parliament.
I hope to make my first visit to Gibraltar in the next 12 months, but in the meantime I hope that the people of the rock will continue to be able to celebrate their uniquely British identity, one that the UK Government should offer rock solid support to.
With my very best wishes.
Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Torbay