The Government have hit out at Keith Azopardi's claims during his New Year Message that he could have negotiated a better Brexit deal for Gibraltar.
The statement from No. 6 reads:
It is presumptuous in the extreme for the Leader of the GSD to claim that he would have handled the negotiations to leave the European Union better than the Government. Indeed, the claim is so absurd that nobody will believe it.
Mr Azopardi has, unsurprisingly, not deigned to explain on what basis he can make such an outlandish statement.
The fact is that the Opposition Members of the Brexit Select Committee of the Gibraltar Parliament have received detailed information every step of the way and have been given the opportunity to comment and put forward their views. Mr Feetham, in particular, adopted a very constructive approach and is on the record as having said that the Government has left no stone un-turned in this process.
Moreover, when Mr Azopardi was shown the text of the agreements, he wanted to change only three words and these were in the Concordat.
It is deeply regrettable that the Leader of the GSD, unlike some of his colleagues, has not adopted a more statesmanlike approach to these negotiations. His constant nit-picking serves no other function that to make himself relevant.
It is perfectly legitimate to argue, as Mr Feetham has done, that a new referendum is the best way forward. What is nothing short of comical is Mr Azopardi’s suggestion that he would somehow have negotiated a better deal or that he is the person best qualified to lead the negotiations on the future relationship. The people of Gibraltar know full well that this could not be further from the truth.