The Isle of Man was officially recognised on Gibraltar National Day after the President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan MLC and his wife, were invited by the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo, to attend the celebrations while on a private visit to the territory.
Held annually on September 10 Gibraltar National Day features a programme of events that celebrate Gibraltar’s right to self-determination.
Gibraltar’s Casemates Square was the setting for the celebrations that saw the Chief Minister invite Mr President on to the platform to join his other guests - among whom was Andrew Rosindell MP, (pictured left with Mr President) chairman of Westminster’s Manx All-Party Group – introduce him to the crowd and extend an official welcome to the Isle of Man.
Mr President said: ‘The occasion provided the opportunity to meet with a number of visiting parliamentarians, also with several Members of the Parliament of Gibraltar. These included the Minister for Economic Development the Hon Joe Bossano, Opposition Leader the Hon Daniel Feetham and the Minister for Business and Employment the Hon Neil Costa. I also met with the Minister for Sports, Culture, Heritage and Youth, the Hon Steven Linares, who recalled fond memories of the Isle of Man when he had been part of a delegation that had visited the Island to attend a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference some years ago.
‘Of particular interest was the one-hour meeting I had with the Speaker, the Hon Adolfo Canepa, a veteran politician - also familiar with Tynwald and the Isle of Man as a CPA delegate - who was fulsome in his praise of the transcription service our Hansard team provides to the Gibraltar Parliament.’
Mr President added that ‘post-Brexit uncertainty’ had dominated discussions, given that some 12,000 Spanish workers entered Gibraltar daily to support the economy.
He continued: ‘Time spent meeting with Gibraltar’s parliamentarians served to highlight the extent to which the Isle of Man and Gibraltar share so many common interests. There is clearly much to be gained from strengthening our ties and, with this in mind, I have extended an invitation to the Chief Minister to attend Tynwald Day in 2017.
‘In summary, I was honoured to be invited to share in the proceedings and proud to represent the Isle of Man on a day of such important civic celebration for Gibraltar.’