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Montevideo, May 21st 2018 - 03:23 UTC

UK reaffirms commitment to trilateral dialogue on Gibraltar, despite Spain

Thursday, December 13th 2012 - 07:20 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Minister García-Margallo repeated that London and Madrid would discuss Gibraltar waters row on bilateral Minister García-Margallo repeated that London and Madrid would discuss Gibraltar waters row on bilateral

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.

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.”

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • ljordao

    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.

    Dec 13th, 2012 - 09:26 am 0
  • War Monkey

    “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?

    Dec 13th, 2012 - 10:02 am 0
  • Conqueror

    Dec 13th, 2012 - 01:56 pm 0
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