Thursday, December 13th 2012 - 07:20 UTC

UK reaffirms commitment to trilateral dialogue on Gibraltar, despite Spain

The British Government reaffirmed its commitment to trilateral dialogue, despite claims from Spain that London and Madrid would discuss the waters row on bilateral terms leaving Gibraltar aside. A spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office said trilateral dialogue was the only acceptable mechanism for “formal” talks about Gibraltar.

Minister García-Margallo repeated that London and Madrid would discuss Gibraltar waters row on bilateral

The statement came in reaction to comments by Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who said on Monday that Britain and Spain must cooperate in the management of overlapping EU nature sites Gibraltar waters.

“Both the UK and Spain have obtained the right, the obligation and duty, the responsibility, of protecting the environment in the same waters,” he said. The Spanish minister also claimed officials from the two governments – but not from Gibraltar - would meet in the coming days to discuss issues relating to Gibraltar waters.

On Tuesday a spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed that its policy on dialogue had not changed.

“The UK continues to support the trilateral forum as the only formal dialogue process which is acceptable to Her Majesty’s Government and to Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and has repeatedly made this clear to the Spanish Government and will continue to do so,” the spokesman said.

The Gibraltar Government followed discussions with London by issuing a statement which firmly denied that there are plans for a UK –Spain bilateral on Gibraltar waters issues. Britain’s position is that it does not recognise the Spanish EU-approved nature site in Gibraltar waters, which it says are exclusively of British sovereignty.

This is the second time within the space of a month that the British Government has found itself obliged to respond to off-the-cuff comments by Minister Garcia-Margallo. Last month, the Spanish Foreign Minister suggested that Britain and Spain were poised to reach a bilateral solution to the fishing dispute.

“I think I can say that in a very few days we are going to reach a solution that is satisfactory for both kingdoms,” he said during an interview on Cadena Ser at the time. But the Foreign Office questioned the Spanish Foreign Minister’s statement and said any solution must involve Gibraltar.

Likewise No 6 Convent Place issued a statement to clarify the position in relation to the Spanish Foreign Minister’s claim there will be bilateral meetings of UK and Spanish officials in respect of environmental matters. The statement, which followed conversations between the Foreign Office and No 6 said that Garcia Margallo’s claim was “untrue” and the FCO has confirmed that there will be no such bilateral meeting.

“Moreover, Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar has assurances that if in any engagement on other matters, Spanish officials or Ministers were to raise matters related to Gibraltar’s Sovereignty or our Constitutional competences, the answer will be simply to restate the established position on sovereignty and the fact that jurisdiction on all matters except defence and foreign affairs is constitutionally with Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar.”

15 comments Feed

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1 ljordao (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 09:26 am Report abuse
Spain has always been one of the most morally challenged nations in the West. It is a congenital defender of statist abuses. To hell with it.
2 War Monkey (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 10:02 am Report abuse

“Morocco had previously called for negotiations on the future of Melilla, Ceuta and a number of nearby Mediterranean islands. However, the majority of the city's population are ethnic Spaniards, who do not wish to join Morocco.[2] Also, the Instituto Opina conducted a poll that found that 88% of mainland Spaniards consider the two cities to be Spanish.[3]”

There are three reasons why Spain assumes that the right of self determination applies to their people but not to the British and the Gilbraltarians. The first is racial. They genuinely think that they are superior. The second is that Spain is in a far worse economic position than the UK and they desperately need a distraction. Third is that the UK has reduced the size of her military too much. A T45, an Astute and a Typhoon cannot be in two places at once so the deterrent effect of the UK armed forces has been reduced even when the capabilities have improved. They think we are weak.

It is a perfect storm and the EU are stirring it by siding with Spain about Gibraltar waters.

The UK has no choice but to have a permanent naval presence in Gibraltar waters from now on and every single incursion needs to be met. The question is though. Where do we find the assets?
3 Conqueror (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 01:56 pm Report abuse
4 War Monkey (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 02:02 pm Report abuse
The problem is that this is not a permanent naval presence. Once she leaves the Spanish will be playing silly buggers again.
5 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 02:14 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
6 brucey-babe (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 02:39 pm Report abuse
Typical Hispanic, a conquistadorial attitude toward the small nations , and that is what Gibraltar and The Falkland Islands are, small nations. Spain, Argentina and that `twonk` aussie sunshine are really at the bottom of the barrel.
7 reality check (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 03:09 pm Report abuse
That's OK, no meeting then, sound familiar?
8 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 03:09 pm Report abuse
* BRUCEY BABY!! “ small nations”” since when are they nations??!!
more like colonies..Brucey babyyyyyy!!
9 Rock scorpion (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 05:43 pm Report abuse
aussie sunshine it is actually not a colony it is an over seas territory gibraltar has more autonomy than any area of spain more employment and a better standard of living, the waters are british according to the convention of the sea 1982 and spain signed the treaty, the treaty of utreach is invalid due to the fact it has being superceded in numerous occations and does not adhere to human rights of the 21st century. I understand that you are bored because most probably you are unemployed like the 6 million other spaniards the problem is that if u do not come to terms with reality and just post what you wish was the truth then you will never get anywhere in life thats why gibraltar has signed internation treaties, is joining uefa, has internation hocky and swimming teams recognisde as a diffrent jurisdiction to that of uk even though it is still part of it.

spain does not want gibraltar to have a voice to bad all that gibraltar has to do is talk to all the other countries in the wolrd as it has being doing for the past 6 years why should gibraltar care that spain does not recognise it when usa china, germany and all the importnat countries do same applies to argentina and the falklands.
10 Doveoverdover (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 06:21 pm Report abuse
@2 We find the resources by ensuring that royalties and taxes raised from the exploitation of natural resources in UK EEZs around the world come to the UK Treasury.
11 Furry-Fat-Feck (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 07:22 pm Report abuse
Who is this 'WE' kimosabe?
12 Doveoverdover (#) Dec 13th, 2012 - 09:07 pm Report abuse
I'll leave that for @2 to answer.
13 cheekychulo (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 02:29 am Report abuse
If Spain was given control of Gibraltar they would mess it up in under 5 years ..... 43 localaties in Andalucia and 36 being investigated for corruption
14 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 01:42 pm Report abuse
*13 Better to have it in spanish corruption than Brit corruption..
15 Betelgeuse (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:33 am Report abuse
The colonial government of Gibraltar and their overlords are wasting their breath in seeking tripartite discussions - and they know it too. Spain has made it perfectly clear that it will only enter into discussions with the UK over sovereignty issues involving Gibraltar - as the UK is the administering State.

It is about time that the UK stops its well known obfuscations and honours its commitments under the Brussels Process on the decolonisation of Gibraltar.

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