Tuesday, March 22, 2005

MEP seeks Hoon Meeting over MoD cuts

Glyn Ford, Labour MEP for Gibraltar (South West of England), has expressed solidarity with Gibraltar over the MoD decision to contractorise jobs.

In Gibraltar to address last night’s closed session of the GSLP (Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party) AGM, Mr Ford also said he was making a call for Gibraltarians to have a vote for the new EU Constitution and to exercise that vote in favour of this.

A staunch lobbyist for Gibraltar over two decades Mr Ford said he was in agreement with everything he had spoken to on the MOD issue since he arrived. Although he recognised that they are entitled to seek efficiency Mr Ford believes that the UK Government may have acted illegally by failing to comply with the need for 90 days consultation and breaching TUPE the transfer of undertakings agreement. He is preparing questions for the European Parliament on this and has also requested a meeting with Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary.

Mr Ford said he would expect Mr Hoon to receive him on an issue like this. And he believes that London must take into account problems that could arise if contractorisation bring its labour from Spain.

“Given Spain’s knack of closing the border what would happen if there were a military crisis?” he asks adding that the UK has “an historical obligation to Gibraltar.”

“The impact here is much greater than it would be in UK,” he says suggesting that he hopes MOD would re-look at this issue and explore ideas like in-house bids.

Mr Ford believes that Gibraltar’s direct representation in Europe is a benefit and that the institutions there have to take more note since it has its own MEPs. He not only wants Gibraltarians to support the new EU Constitution but hopes that Gibraltar will participate in the vote on the Euro.


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