LONDON — Voters head to the polls for a Brexit election Thursday — only it’s in Gibraltar not in the U.K. as a whole.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told POLITICO in an interview that he decided to bring the vote forward after Boris Johnson became U.K. prime minister to ensure a new government would be in place in case there was a no-deal Brexit.
His campaign has sought to convince voters the government is prepared for a no-deal departure from the European Union by Britain, something disputed by U.K. government planning documents and by his opponents. Picardo said his government has put together a plan that details every step he and his closest Cabinet colleagues would take in the days leading up to and immediately after a no-deal outcome.
“We are ready for the morning after if that eventuality were to come to pass,” he said. “Every minute of my day, of the deputy chief’s day, and the day of most officials would be planned from 48 hours before a hard Brexit and to the immediate actions that we would be making in the run-up and in the minutes after a hard Brexit occurs.”
Front-runner Picardo is standing once again as the candidate of a coalition between his party, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party, and the Liberal Party. This coalition has ruled Gibraltar since the 2011 election.
Picardo’s GSLP/Liberals coalition is set for another landslide win, according to a poll carried out for the Gibraltar Chronicle, which predicts 10 seats out of 17 for the coalition,