|The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Gibraltar|
A clause inserted in the EU draft guidelines for the Brexit process has taken the residents of Gibraltar, and apparently the UK government, by surprise: "No agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom." It appears that the EU is siding with Spain in its long dispute over the territory and Gibraltarians are rightly alarmed.
The Cathedral of this diocese is, of course, in Gibraltar.
The Dean, the Very Revd John Paddock, is concerned for his parishioners and their worry at this turn of events. This morning I wrote this message to the Dean, and his parishioners:
Dear Fr John, dear Brothers and Sisters
Adding to all the political and economic uncertainty caused by the referendum, and now the triggering of the Brexit process last week, the people of Gibraltar must be feeling not only dismayed but even shocked by the naming of Gibraltar in the EU27 negotiating position, and by what is clearly a lack of foresight on the part of HM Government which has been caught off guard, with the life of the residents of The Rock appearing to be considered bargaining chips in the upcoming UK-EU27 negotiations. Now, after all the debates, assurances and speculation of the past months, it is Gibraltar which is named as the first possible direct victim of the Brexit decision. I can only imagine the turmoil and even anger you must feel.
At such times we Christians turn to God's Son Jesus Christ, who is the King of all creation, and whose sovereignty is over all. We pray ever more earnestly for our politicians and diplomats, that God will enlighten them with wisdom and patience in their dealings with Brussels and Madrid, and that they will guarantee and defend the future and the wellbeing of Gibraltarians in the upcoming negotiations.
We pray also for Spain, that God will grant its leaders a spirit of reconciliation and open hearts, that self interest and pride may give way to a search for our common good on the Iberian peninsula.
In these Lenten days, we recall that God is at work, even through the Passion of His Son, and we pray that His Peace may rule in our hearts.
Your brother in Christ
|Our Lady of Europe in Gibraltar|