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  • ESG comments on Environmental Strategy

    The ESG wishes to clarify its position with regards to nuclear submarine visits and repairs and to its environmental objectives on the whole.

    The ESG invests its time in tackling issues in a sustained manner throughout the year and prioritises on urgent matter as and when they arise. It is in this context that the ESG needs to reiterate yet again, that it considers nuclear submarine visits to Gibraltar to be untenable for a variety of environmental reasons and is undertaking a long-term campaign of informing the public of the risks and hazards posed by these menacing machines to create necessary public pressure to influence the current political and economic reasons for their continued visits.

    However, it does not discount the prioritisation that the ESG would give this matter should the MoD ever consider undertaking repairs to its nuclear systems in Gibraltar again. This would meet with total opposition by the group.

    When HMS Sceptre arrived in Gibraltar, the ESG, concerned about the possibility as hinted in the Spanish press, of repairs to the nuclear system, set about making its own direct enquiries to the MoD who confirmed what it had ultimately divulged to the local Government, that this vessel was undergoing engineering repairs totally disassociated to the nuclear reactor system.

    The repairs on Tireless raised a number of issues to do with crown immunity and the legal impotence by Gibraltarians to stop these repairs in spite of significant public opposition.

    The ESG believes that our own Government has sought to redress this matter to prevent such repairs from being done ever again. The comment therefore made by the FCO recently that an urgent nuclear repair such as what was done to Tireless could not be ruled out deserves to be countered strongly.

    The group hopes that this situation would never again arise and that this opposition will never need to be tested but it is hoped that any such opposition on environmental and health and safety grounds would of necessity be organised by local environmentalist groups and hopefully supported by environmentalists from both sides of the border to ensure that this issue is addressed on an apolitical footing. This neutrality would only be achieved if any protest was properly co-ordinated and not held in an ad hoc, unilateral basis.

    Groups and individuals from either side of the border which prioritise the safety and protection of the environment and who, like us, are apolitical, will hopefully welcome and understand the position being expressed by the ESG and desist from creating a damaging scenario that can only weaken the environmental struggle that has to date borne such fruits as the Bay Bucket Brigade and the apolitical protest supported peacefully against the dangerous emissions from the refinery and associated industry.