Waving banners and flags, one of which was emblazoned with the words “Gibraltar is British”, hundreds of Gibraltarians took to the streets of the Rock to celebrate today.
The holiday commemorates the 1967 referendum in which Gibraltarians were asked whether they wanted Spanish or British sovereignty.
Only 44 people voted in favour of Spain, resulting in a staggering 99.64 percent victory for British sovereignty.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said today he would fight to turn the “Brexit challenge into a Brexit win” and said the EU exit would “neither defeat nor define Gibraltar”.
He said: “In or out of the European Union, we are a hard-working people of peace, of goodwill, a people who will ensure that our Rock is always first, foremost and forever the homeland of the Gibraltarians.
“Our ancestors came from every shore of the Mediterranean and beyond, from Genoa, Malta, India, North Africa, Britain,” he said.
“They built their dreams in the face of adversity.”
“We overcame every siege to live the British dream.
“Leaving the EU is just one more step on our journey.”
Theresa May also recorded a special message for the 25th National Day, which was played before crowds on a big screen.
Mrs May paid tribute to the strong links between Spain and the UK, saying the two communities “have been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder”.
Mrs May said: “Today as we mark Gibraltar National Day I can assure you that this will not change as we leave the European Union.
“We joined the EU together. We are leaving together and as we step forward into the latest chapter of our shared history we will once again do so together.
“The Government of Gibraltar is fully involved in the Brexit negotiations and nothing will ever weaken our commitment to the people who call the Rock their home as long as the people of Gibraltar want to remain British.
“British is what the people of Gibraltar will remain and there should be no doubt whatsoever about our commitment to the double lock a commitment as solid as the Rock of Ages itself.
“Gibraltar is a vital part of the UK’s past, present and future and I’m immensely proud to help you celebrate it today.”