Picardo misleading public on Spanish Fisherman to cover up self inflicted crisis
Mr Picardo and the Government are clearly out of their depth in relation to the crisis that they have themselves unnecessarily brought upon Gibraltar in relation to Spanish Fishermen. Mr. Picardos latest statement is both untrue and intentionally misleading.
Until now Mr. Picardo has tried to justify the mess he has got Gibraltar into by falsely and repeatedly stating that the problem with the 1999 Fishing Agreement is that it contravened the laws of Gibraltar and authorised Spanish fisherman to fish in breach of Gibraltars laws. This is of course untrue.
Now that he has read the 1999 Agreement and discovered that it does no such thing, but rather the very opposite, he is now changing his line. Now he says that the problem with the 1999 Fishing Agreement was that Caruana sought to interfere with the RGPs independence of law enforcement.
This also is wholly untrue, but if Mr. Picardo thinks that this is the only problem all he had to do is not interfere with the RGP in the independence of their enforcement of the Nature Protection Act. There was no need to tear up the Agreement and bring the consequences of that upon Gibraltar.
Mr Picardo says that in contrast to the GSD, the new Government does not seek to influence the Royal Gibraltar Police in the enforcement of the law. This is not true. Mr Picardo appears to have forgotten that it was his Environment Minister, Mr. J. Cortes who started the crisis on 11th March by saying on Facebook that he had given a direction about the agreement.
In an unseemly attempt to pretend UK Parliamentary support for his position, Mr. Picardo selectively quotes from the Foreign Affairs Committee to the point of giving the impression that the Committees position was the opposite of what it actually was.
The Foreign Affairs Committee was highly complimentary and supportive of the 1999 Fishing Agreement, as was the FCO and the Convent. What the Foreign Affairs Committee added was that the Agreement should be backed up by legislation, which the Gibraltar Government decided was unnecessary. But if Mr. Picardo takes a different view on this point he is of course free to do that.
The Opposition repeats its call to the Government to restore the 1999 Fishing Agreement before the situation gets out of hand with incalculable and unnecessary consequences for Gibraltar.
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