Page 47



hen I penned this column this time last year, I was aware that the next few months were likely to be dramatic. The UK’s Brexit referendum was just around the corner and the US presidential primaries were in full swing to decide who would grab the Republican and Democrat tickets for the 58th quadrennial US presidential election. Nothing prepared me, however, for just how dramatic these two events turned out to be. No doubt commentators and historians will be picking over the bones of 2016 for years to come, but I do not propose to add to the millions of words that have already been published on the UK’s shock decision to exit the European Union or Donald Trump’s astonishing entry into the Oval Office. As we stumbled, shell-shocked, into 2017, we faced a series of crucial elections during the year – most notably in the Netherlands, France and Germany – and the prospect of further instability unless the so-called “populist” tidal surge began to abate. At the time of writing, the first two have passed off without further significant

flooding - although it was telling that neither of the candidates from France’s main Republican or Socialist parties made it through to the presidential run-off. 2017 is, of course, the year when the UK and the European Union began talks on the terms of their divorce. Article 50 – the decree nisi, if you will – was duly triggered in March as promised by Theresa May’s government. Then she threw the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons again by calling a snap general election. Suffice it to say, we will discover over the next couple of years just how easy or difficult it is for a member state to leave the bloc in practice. After all, no full member state has left the Union since the birth of the European Economic Community at the Treaty of Rome over 60 years ago. As Bette Davis famously said: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” I could go on but I have already promised this would not be just another romp through the news. Regular readers may remember that my passion is for Gibraltar and that is where we are now heading – to that giant lump of Jurassic

limestone sitting at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Let no one be in any doubt, last year’s events – and Brexit in particular – will affect us here for a very long time to come.

You may be visiting the Rock for the first time, but you will probably recall that not only was Gibraltar the first of the 382 voting areas to declare a referendum result, it also posted the biggest “remain” vote of all the voting areas – with 96% of voters on a massive turnout of 84% opting to stay. But will you find us all crying into our café con leche – or even a warm beer? Absolutely not. READ ON. PREMIER MAGAZINE


Ocean Village Premier Magazine  
Ocean Village Premier Magazine