Local MP Jack Lopresti has returned from a Parliamentary Delegation to Gibraltar. The Delegation was invited for meetings with the MOD and the Gibraltarian Government. Mr Lopresti serves as the Secretary to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gibraltar.
Amongst other meetings with Gibraltarian Government Ministers and officials Jack met with Commodore Tom Karsten, the Commander of British Forces for Gibraltar to receive a briefing on the MOD's current operations and duties on "The Rock". Jack also met with the current Governor of Gibraltar Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns KCB, CBE, ADC.
The Delegation visited in a period that has seen increased tensions between the Gibraltarian Government and the Spanish Government over a fishing dispute that has widened into a debate over Gibraltarian Territorial waters. On his return to the UK Jack organised a meeting with SW Region MEP Ashley Fox to see what assistance Ashley can give in resolving the dispute through his work in the European Parliament.
The UK considers Gibraltar as a crucial strategic asset which has recently proven its importance once again in last year's Operation Ellamy. Gibraltar is also a key asset with regards to anti-smuggling and anti-terrorism operations on the Mediterranean.
Mr Lopresti, as part of the Delegation, also participated in the 20th National Day celebrations.
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Jack Lopresti: Will my right hon. Friend reassure the House that we are doing everything possible to help local indigenous forces on the ground with the liberation of Mosul and the defeat of Daesh, not only in relation to equipment and ammunition, but with regard to access to medical care, protective equipment such as helmets and body armour, and getting the right supplies and expertise for their wounded?
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Jack Lopresti: Does the Secretary of State share my view that the need to accommodate the views of 28 different countries has led to the common agricultural policy becoming overtly bureaucratic in a way that has harmed the interests of British farmers?