Saturday, December 29th 2012 - 06:41 UTC

Thatcher feared Spain might go for Gibraltar after Falklands was taken by Argentina

Three days after Argentina’s ruling military junta seized the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic (April 1982), the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called for an “urgent assessment” of Britain’s ability to defend Gibraltar, prompted in part by the “jubilant reaction” to the invasion in the Spanish press.

The PM remained nervous and asked for further reassurance on 7 April 1982 that all necessary precautions were being taken

A joint FCO and Ministry of Defence note on the situation sought to reassure the Prime Minister. But Mrs Thatcher was seemingly unimpressed and laid out her fears in a handwritten annotation: “This is suspiciously like the Falkland Islands assessment before invasion. 1,000 soldiers with a land boundary, no air cover etc.”

Military chiefs found no evidence of an increased threat but could not rule out the possibility that “extremist right wing elements” within the Spanish military might attempt to “demonstrate patriotism by some provocation”.

However they argued that “powerful political constraints” - including Spain’s on-going application to join NATO and the EEC - would prevent a move against Gibraltar.

“Given the small size of the territory…British forces in place are in a good position to make an armed assault a military hazardous undertaking,” they wrote.

“Although the territory could no doubt eventually be overwhelmed by vastly superior forces, the defenders could put up effective resistance…The likelihood of civilian resistance and casualties would also give an aggressor pause”.

However the Prime Minister remained nervous and asked for further reassurance on 7 April 1982 that all necessary precautions were being taken against a possible military attempt on Gibraltar, according to papers released to The National Archives under the 30 year rule.

“I understand that out military capability on Gibraltar is being reviewed – urgently. We must take precautions…May I have an appreciation of our position quickly?” wrote Mrs Thatcher.

The political situation was complicated by Spain’s commitment to reopening the land border with Gibraltar under the terms of the Lisbon Agreement.

Gibraltar’s crucial role in supporting the Navy task force sent to recover the Falklands and the trial of right-wing conspirators who had attempted a coup against the Spanish government in 1981 also served to increase tensions.

This led F.N Richards of the FCO to write on 8 April: “If we are to get the Spaniards to stick to the agreement to open the frontier in June it is in our interests not to inflame Spanish attitudes. From this point of view, we should avoid seeking, and indeed, do what we can to avoid publicity about Gibraltar’s role in support of the task force.”

He went on: “If reinforcements are considered necessary, it’s important…to ensure that the operation is carried out as inconspicuously as possible”.

An assessment by the Chiefs of Staff for the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) on 19 April concluded that Spain did possess the “military capability to attack Gibraltar at short notice” and could not rule out the possibility of some “unauthorised small scale action by individual elements of the Spanish armed forces.”

“Plans have existed for some time against the possible need to repel a military assault from Spain and against the background of recent-events these plans have been reviewed and the Governor has asked for certain precautionary measures to be taken”.

“In making these enhancements to the defensive capability of Gibraltar we have done this in a low-key, using routine movements of ships and aircraft to avoid attracting undue publicity which could inflame Spanish nationalist sentiment”.

The Governor at the time, Sir William Jackson, requested additional manpower and military equipment as well as food, medical supplies and explosives.

Fears of an attack were not wholly unwarranted. At the beginning of June, as the battle in the Falklands was reaching a decisive stage, the FCO received a message from Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Pedro Perez-Llorca y Rodrigo, warning of the “possible danger of action against Gibraltar by pro-Argentine elements”.

Nor did the tense atmosphere end with the surrender of Argentina in June 1982. Later that year, a proposed ministerial visit to Gibraltar led the FCO to warn that there was “an outside chance” it could provoke pressure for a military strike against Gibraltar.

“We are sure that [Spanish Prime Minister] Calvo Sotelo and Perez Llorca would do their level best to prevent this but as the Foreign Minister warned me at the time of the Falklands’ crisis, the government might lack the power to restrain hot-heads”, wrote Sir Anthony Parsons, Mrs Thatcher’s special advisor on foreign affairs.

This prompted Mrs Thatcher to write: “Are we READY should such an invasion occur?”

In secret evidence to the Franks inquiry into the Falklands crisis in October 1982, which has been declassified, Mrs Thatcher admitted that the threat to Gibraltar had left her living “on a knife edge”.

Despite a delay, caused by the Falklands crisis, the land border with Spain was opened to pedestrians on 15 December, 1982.

After Franco died November 20 1975 Spain worked towards democratic government and Britain tried to encourage the opening of the border by offering discussions on Gibraltar issues, including allowing sovereignty to be raised, through the Lisbon Agreement in 1980. When Spain joined NATO in 1981 it aspired to have use of military facilities on the Rock, but the 1982 Argentine invasion of the Falklands saw negotiations suspended. (Gibraltar Chronicle)
 

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1 MrFlagpole (#) Dec 29th, 2012 - 09:42 am Report abuse
Interesting story.

Seems like defending Gibraltar would have have been a walk in the park compared to the Falklands.
2 Room101 (#) Dec 29th, 2012 - 10:08 am Report abuse
...“feared Spain”..? Don't make me laugh.
3 ChrisR (#) Dec 29th, 2012 - 11:48 am Report abuse
“Pro-Argentine Elements”

Even bigger laugh!

The current government of Spain have as much backbone as a squid.

Given the supine bend-over and take it from the argies that Spain did over YPF we need to beef up the navy contingent at Gibraltar. They have all the hallmarks of cowards: great in a mob until one of them is smacked hard, then the rest run away.
4 Shed-time (#) Dec 29th, 2012 - 04:38 pm Report abuse
Fearing anything vaguely spanish is like fearing one of those victorian pottery headed dolls. It's all psychological because they can do you no physical harm.

They can however, destroy all your fish stocks and get patted on the back by the EU for doing so, in addition to being given big wads of subsidies.

Lazy spanish are lazy.
5 LightThink (#) Dec 29th, 2012 - 06:29 pm Report abuse
This article news is not convincing for me !
6 Shed-time (#) Dec 29th, 2012 - 07:18 pm Report abuse
If I was spanish or a spanish-speaker, I'd be too lazy to read your comment and quite probably on a 4 hour lunch break with my mistress, that my wife knew about, but put up with because I can just pay an indulgence to the local catholic-warlock for my sins to be repealed.

Thankfully, I'm not spanish.
7 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 01:01 am Report abuse
Maggie shouldn't have worried, the really interesting thing about Spin and Gibralter is how they've never tried to militarily grab it. Not in 1982, not in 1940 when Hitler and Mussolini would have most wanted their fellow fascist Franco to have tried. He was canny enough not to; had he gone to war along with the axis 30 years of lingering fascism could have been spared for the people of Spain. To think the young democracy that Spain was in 1982 would do what even Franco didn't shows a certain hysterical streak to Mrs T.

#4,6 Mate, you have real problems...
8 Britworker (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 01:08 am Report abuse
@7
Think its you with the problems mr, anyone who thinks Kirchner is a sane and beautiful woman has some real problems.
Will you be supporting the Falkland Islanders exercising their human rights in March, or, like your femme fatale, do you believe that they don't have human rights?

It is you with the problems mr!
9 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 01:16 am Report abuse
nice to know that THE IRON LADY feared a Spanish invasion, but she need not have worried as the Spanish would have told her if they were to invade they are not treacherous people, now that I think about it Lady Thatcher knows nothing of The Spaniards.
10 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 03:16 am Report abuse
#7 I obviously wanted to say Spain and Gibralter when I posted “Spin and Gibralter”; funny thing is “Spin and Gibralter” still makes sense as all this Gibralter focus is mainly Tory spin...
11 Shed-time (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 11:40 am Report abuse
@10 Yes, because the Tories caused 6 hour waits in the interface between Gib and Spain, the Tories made the Spaniards sail their war-craft into Gib waters, the Tories made the Spanish really really so lazy that they are incapable of work. I'm not even a conservative, but I find it funny how you try to blame the conservatives for everything, regardless of obvious objective facts.

The good thing is, you're scottish and you're going to have years and years and years of your blairite brownite campbellite darlingite salmonite governments to come once you gain independence, get rejected from the EU and UK companies have to reject all your work visas in preference for EU citizens.

Then when your society fails, and it will, we will all be there seeing how much you like Marxist authoritarianism when some headwhack rises from the ashes and tries to band you all together with nationalistic chat about kilts and sporens.

Just can't wait.
12 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 01:01 pm Report abuse
*11 bla!! bla!! bla!! You may hate Spain but the reality is that more and more British people are settling down in Spain. I wonder why??!!

If the Gibs are so comfortable in Gib land why do they cross the border into Spain and put up with 6 hour traffic jams!! THERE MUST BE SOME HONEY OR GREENER PASTURES ON THE SPANISH SIDE OF THE BORDER!! ummmmm???
13 Shed-time (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 01:49 pm Report abuse
@12 Making statements about objectively agreed facts, like spanish people are lazy, they typically have mistresses, and they do no work because they are on 5 hour lunch breaks, does not in any way suggest anything about my like nor dislikes about spanish people.

I didn't make spanish-speakers corrupt and lazy, they did that on their own. I just observed that they are, and it's not a singular observation.
14 Rockscorpion (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 02:00 pm Report abuse
fake aussie, talk about bla bla bla, you talk as if you knew anything about Gib and the Campo, yes Gibraltarians go to Spain but 8000 spaniards come into Gib to work on a daily basis to get honey and everything else they need to live a comfortable life, on weekends some of us go to Spain to spend some of our money and I am sure the spaniards who own bars, shops, restaurants and other types of businesses are quite happy about it, you tell me where the honey and green pastures reside. I for myself have not stepped into Spain for 5 month and refuse to do so until the spanish goverment changes it's fascist attitude towards us.
15 Musky (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 02:16 pm Report abuse
Lets not tar all spaniards with the same brush people. I worked with a couple of delightful spanish girls who were as concerned about gib as Nescafe would be at the loss of a single coffee bean.
The worry is that an economically subdued people are more easily led and distracted so that gib can be made to be the focus of their woes.
16 Shed-time (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 03:13 pm Report abuse
@15 I'm sure if you tried really hard you might find a spaniard who isn't very very lazy, but on the whole they don't really do anything other than run a bar, complain about how they want a 5 hour lunch break, and plunder everyone elses fish stocks.
17 ChrisR (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 04:42 pm Report abuse
16 Shed-time aka whatever you old tag was.

Not too bright to keep running down a complete society with your (I am sure to you, amusing) stereotypes.

Living in Uruguay, one of my best friends is a Spaniard who works from 07.00 to 19.00 Mon - Sat and 08.00 - 13.00 on Sun in his own business that you would know as a builders supplies and hardware merchant business. His wife does the accounts and the money, they have three depots in all.

He started from nothing and has built the whole thing up himself.

I wonder wht you have done with your life?
18 Shed-time (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 05:07 pm Report abuse
@17 I'm sure you're speaking rhetorically and have no interest in my experiences. However, would it make me less of a person if I had done nothing with my life?

I'm not running down an entire society. I'm simply discussing things that are an accepted part of their culture. Most Spanish would freely discuss how much they enjoy a siesta and time off during the day. I'm sure it's matched by the average time a British lady takes in smoking breaks. If someone moved to Uruguay and made a life for himself and provided for his family, then fair play to him. Surely this is better than sitting around complaining about the ultimate latin humiliation that is Gibraltar not wanting to be Spanish, no?
19 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 07:51 pm Report abuse
14 Good stay on the rock!!

16 Spaniards lazy!! They have the best speed train system in Europe and now building the speed train for Saudi Arabia, building the metro system for Israel, They have the best renewable energies in Europe in solar and wind turbine. Their engineers are expanding the Panama canal in Panama.It is the 5th EU country with the best infrastructures in front of Japan and the USA.In sport they kick ass in tennis,cycling.motor racing and football....lazy!? Siesta, of course they take a siesta when in summer the temperatures are so high that you cannot work from 2-5pm. They start work at 5 and finish at 8..they work the same hours that you do--dude. I won´t get started on their fantastic history, I´ll leave it for a rainy day.
20 Shed-time (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 08:57 pm Report abuse
@19 I think you'll find their trains and motorway network were paid for out of the EU coffers because of their endemic poverty.Besides, if they weren't bankrupt and were so good, they wouldn't need nationalism and expansionism to rouse them from their naps would they? eh.

I didn't realise you were such a spanophile.
21 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 09:31 pm Report abuse
#17 Well said Chris! =)
22 Rockscorpion (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 09:41 pm Report abuse
Gloomy fake aussie, I can assure you that a lot of us are staying on the Rock and not spending in Spain, and I can also assure that the businesses that are being affected by this loss of trade at a time when spain is going through an economic crisis of epic proportions and are not happy about it, ask the alcaldesa gemma araujo of La Linea (neibouring city to Gib) what she thinks about the loss of trade in her city.
@20 he is not a spanophile, he is spanish or part spanish and is for some reason ashamed to admit it.
23 Shed-time (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 09:46 pm Report abuse
@22 It must be quite difficult when you're part-spanish in these times of spanish emasculated warmongering and have to pretend to be australian in order to have some self-esteem.

Poor chap.
24 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 30th, 2012 - 11:12 pm Report abuse
*23 I don´t have to pretend to be an Aussie- I AM AN AUSSIE.
what pisses you off is that AN AUSSIE does not agree with your stupid
comments..silly pr****. GET A LIFE.
*22 like I said before...GOOD STAY ON THE ROCK. I don´t think the Spanish are going to miss your pounds.Tourism is up on the Spanish side and I don´t think The Spaniards are going to miss you one bit!!
25 Anglotino (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 05:50 am Report abuse
Hey Sunshine

Wow what an embarrassing Aussie you are. Calm down mate. You sound like a nationalist troll who is paid to swamp the forum.

Your initial comment showed a complete lack of historical understanding of Spain's relations to Gibraltar. Try reading up on WHY Gibraltar distrusts Spain.

Your second comment showed a complete lack of economics. The reason so many Brits settle in Spain is due to the weather and how cheap it is. Try visiting Costa del Sol and finding some authentic Spanish food. It's the British version of Queensland. Great weather but a bit lacking in a lot of other things.

And then you showed you don't even understand how the EU builds infrastructure in poorer member states. Did Spain use these funds well? Mostly. Did it pay for it all alone. Nope.

If some country told you that you and your family had no right to be called Australians or live in Australia because they had only emigrated there in the last 200 years, you'd tell them to get stuffed.

The Spanish fought and captured Gibraltar in 1462. The British captured it in 1704. So it was Spanish for 242 years and has been British for 308 years.

During that time, Spain laid siege to it in 1727 and then 1779 for 4 YEARS. Spain again closed the border from 1969 for 13 YEARS. It was only partially opened the same year as the Falkland's War.

I've backpacked to Gibraltar and walked across the border, it is difficult to imagine it closed-and yet many Gibraltarians remember this.

“[Thatcher] need not have worried as the Spanish would have told her if they were to invade they are not treacherous people, now that I think about it Lady Thatcher knows nothing of The Spaniards”.

I assure you she did know. Obviously more than you. Don't hang your ignorance out for anyone to see; do a little research first.

As for Shed-time; is he being racist and generalising? Yes but that is a reflection on his intellectual disabilities. Don't let it reflect on your abilities.
26 Shed-time (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 08:17 am Report abuse
@25 a) Technically, I'm not being racist as I'm just making objective comments on the activities of a culture. i.e. siestas b) We all generalise, it's how our brains are wired and prevents us being eaten (Just read up about gestalt).

So, really I'm not doing anything wrong, other than saying things that everyone thinks, and being honest about it.
27 ChrisR (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 10:40 am Report abuse
26 Shed-time

It has come to me now: you are GreekYoghurt and I claim my £5.00!
28 Steveu (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 11:17 am Report abuse
@25.... And just as Argentina have effectively signed away any claim to the Falklands in the 1850 Southern Aranas Treaty so Spain ceded Gib in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 so that's it really - all settled and everyone is happy!
29 aussie sunshine (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 06:03 pm Report abuse
*25 MY WE HAVE A SCHOLAR AMONG US!!
So British tourists come to Spain because it is cheap, Portugal,Italy,
Greece and many others are cheaper than Spain BUT The British like
Spain.Kind of strange don´t you think?!
Point 2 Gibraltar was conquered illegally by Britain. Britain was fighting on the side of Austrian Hapsburg against
30 Anglotino (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 02:47 am Report abuse
@26 Shed-time

Whatever helps you justify your prejudices mate. But your blatantly transparent and highly ineffective.

@29 Aussie Sunshine

Wow mate, you had a chance and blew it again. I'm not a scholar, just less stupid than some.

“So British tourists come to Spain because it is cheap, Portugal, Italy, Greece and many others are cheaper than Spain BUT the British like Spain. Kind of strange don´t you think?!”

Umm no!

What is strange about that? I never claimed British tourists don't like Spain. Spain was once much much cheaper than it is now and developed its tourist industry for its year round warm climate mainly in the south and marketed it to the Brits. God knows why Aussies prefer Bali over other parts of Indonesia-but that's just where people go now. I never understood why my ex-British boyfriend dragged me to the Costa del Sol for a week when we had all of Europe to enjoy but it is, like I said, their version of Queensland. It's nearly all about the weather.

“Point 2 Gibraltar was conquered illegally by Britain. Britain was fighting on the side of Austrian Hapsburg against”

Oh God give me strength. Illegal? How? It was taken during a war and signed over by Spain in the Treaty of Utrecht. Yes Britain was on the Austrian Hapsburg side. So? The French still got their King in place in the end. You do know the reason for the war don't you?

I'm guessing the Castilian conquered it illegal in 1462 as well?

But back to the subject, yes Thatcher had a right to be worried. Spain had only been a democracy for 5 years in 1982 and a year earlier there'd been an attempted coup d'état. For some reason you can only discuss Spain through a 2012 prism.

2012 is not 1982.
31 Shed-time (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 10:10 am Report abuse
@27 How can I be GreekYoghurt? I'm not even into sun beds.

@30 Do you mean 'your transparent' or 'you're transparent'? It's not clear from the sentence which one you meant.
32 ChrisR (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 10:41 am Report abuse
31 Shed-time

You appear to have all the characteristics and 'endearments' of GreekYoghurt and you have not categorically denied it.
33 aussie sunshine (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 12:07 pm Report abuse
...as I was saying: Britain took Gibraltar illegally simply because when Britain took Gibraltar it took it in the name of The Austrian Hapsburg NOT IN THE NAME OF QUEEN ANNE which later the sneaky Brits decided to pass it on to the British crown, or and by the way; The British could not have taken Gibraltar if it had not been of the military assistance of The Dutch
which happily retired from Gibraltar after the war was won, something The British did not. So you see, this was very treacherous on the British side which took advantage of the weakness of Spain at this stage to make them sign the Treaty.In reality the British should have given Gibraltar to The Hapsburg King and retired from the rock but they decided to keep it whereas The Dutch honest as they are withdrew.
34 Zethee (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 12:14 pm Report abuse
aussie sunshine:

Blah blah blah blah.

People want to be British? Check.

Self Determination? Check.

All of the hows and what if's in the world doesn't change those two facts.
35 RICO (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 01:11 pm Report abuse
Aussie sunshine - why can't you just accept that Gibraltar belongs to the Gibratarians. The Spanish signed it over to the British and the British are happy for the Gibratarians to govern themselves. Why Australia wants to stick its head into the matter by claiming that a hostile (and bankrupt) nation should take over the country I don't know.

Are there any other people's you think should be handed over to their neighbours? Perhaps Poland should be handed over to Germany or Holland handed over to Spain or Libya handed over to Italy or Alaska handed over to Russia. They all have historical claims.
36 Shed-time (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 01:55 pm Report abuse
@35 He cannot accept it, because he's genetically Argentinian. These folks are basically a breed of Italian-Spaniard with some SS German mixed in. Once programmed, they're cognitively incapable of changing any of their beliefs. It all stems from a secret nazi eugenics programme.

Expecting otherwise is just futile.
37 aussie sunshine (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 02:52 pm Report abuse
Well in that case hand over Scotland to the Scottish, Walse to the Welsh and Northern Ireland to the Irish.........
38 RICO (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 03:12 pm Report abuse
AS - The majority of people of Northern Ireland don't want to be part of the Republic of Ireland, but the UK has committed to letting that change if that is what the people wish, it should be pointed out that it is also the policy of the Irish Government and was backed up by a referendum vote in the Republic. Scotland has negotiated a referendum in 2014 on independence although it is telling that the Scottish Nationalists are now debating how soon they can arrange a second referendum when they loose this one. The Welsh Nationalist receive approximately 11% of the Welsh vote in general elections and although they would like an independent Wales have never asked for it or for a referendum. They know they will not get independence without a referendum and know that at the moment they will loose.

In fact the only people who will never be offered a referendum is the English as apparently their views don't count, although it should be pointed out that the main english nationalist party doesn't campaign for an independent England and only asks for equal treatment for the English constitutionally and a return of Welsh occupied Monmouthshire. The party received 0.3% of the vote in England and 2.5% of the vote in Monmouthsire.

Now as you are apparently so in favour of the people's of the British Isles choosing their future perhaps you would show the same appreciation for the human rights of the people of Gibraltar - unless you believe for some reason they don't deserve human rights.
39 aussie sunshine (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 03:23 pm Report abuse
Of course they deserve human rights!! but I do not see the people of Gibraltar on the same footing as The Scots or Irish..To me they are colonist implanted by The UK. Gibraltar, The UK and Spain need to work out a solution to each others demands........
40 RICO (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 04:09 pm Report abuse
Can you name one current resident of Gibraltar that was implanted by the UK?

How long do a people have to live in a place to belong there? 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, 200 years? Bear in mind that many of the ancestors of Gibratarians arrived their before the ancestors of many Australians arrived down under.
41 Shed-time (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 04:13 pm Report abuse
@39 Spain has nothing to do with it. You don't just give someone yours or anyone else's car simply because they suddenly decided they want it. You don't just give someone your wallet, just because someone else decided they think they'd quite like it either. The wallet can however decided that it doesn't want to belong to you, but that's an entirely different matter.

Spanophone logic doesn't work in normal countries. It leads to people punching you in the face.
42 aussie sunshine (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 09:38 pm Report abuse
what about the Spaniards that were living in Gibraltar before the British arrived?? where is their human rights??!!
43 HansNiesund (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 10:17 pm Report abuse
@43

They are an extraordinarily long-lived bunch, wherever they are.
44 Shed-time (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 10:39 pm Report abuse
did anyone ask the Moors that lived there before the Spanish arrived for their short stint of ownership how they felt? or are we assuming that Gib was just populated by monkeys?
45 Anglotino (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 10:49 pm Report abuse
Aussie sunshine

I apologise, I thought I was replying to a rational individual.

The British didn't take Gibraltar illegally. It was taken during war as recognised by Spain in the Treaty of Utrecht. Stop trying to revise history to suit your facts that even Spain refutes.

As for the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh, how they are being denied self-determination. You are taking other people's anglophobic lies and using them as facts.

“I do not see the people of Gibraltar on the same footing as The Scots or Irish”

Gibraltar is quite open about its own status and previous history as a colony. They are not a nation within Britain, but a territory that has developed its own identity through a history of immigration.

“To me they are colonist implanted by The UK”

You are NOT Australian. I can't ever imagine an Australian using this logic. Gibraltar has been British for 309 years. Australia has only had European settlement for 215 years. So Gibraltar's identity is based on a continuous history 100 years longer than Australia and yet they are COLONISTS? Then what am I? An Australian or a colonist implanted by the UK?

If you were Australian that would have to be the dumbest argument I have ever heard. I am not a British colonist. I AM AUSTRALIAN. How dare you tell someone what their identity is.

“what about the Spaniards that were living in Gibraltar before the British arrived?”

It's hard to give restitution for something more than 300 years ago that happened during a war. The Germans from Poland? Every country in Latin and North America. History is littered with historical injustices that cannot be undone and shouldn't be repeated.

Self determination is enshrined in the UN Charter, if Gibraltar wants to negotiate with Spain then they can.

Gibraltar has not been part of Spain for 309 years. It is not Spanish. The US has not been British for 236 years, Australia has not been part of Britain for less than 100 years….. are their identities being called into doubt?
46 reality check (#) Jan 02nd, 2013 - 01:50 am Report abuse
Member of the EU, member of Nato. Spains just messing about with smoke and mirrors, no more than that, pandering to its nationalists, blow over soon.
47 Rockscorpion (#) Jan 02nd, 2013 - 10:12 am Report abuse
@45 I applaud you.

Happy New Year to you and yours.
48 malicious bloke (#) Jan 02nd, 2013 - 10:14 am Report abuse
“I do not see the people of Gibraltar on the same footing as The Scots or Irish.”

Sorry to break it to you but you are flat out WRONG on this. Gibraltarians' status as full British citizens, with all the rights implied therein, was enshrined in the British Nationality Act 1981:

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61

Essentially they have the power to negotiate greater/lesser legislative control on internal matters with London (exactly as the scottish parliament, welsh assembly and NI parliament can) AND they have the right to call a referendum on their future association with the union (exactly as scotland and the Falkland Islands have done).

How do they not have the same rights as any other British citizen, exactly?
49 gustbury (#) Jan 02nd, 2013 - 01:12 pm Report abuse
Usurped land too!!
50 Troy Tempest (#) Jan 02nd, 2013 - 05:14 pm Report abuse
@49 Gusty Wind

“Usurped”?

When two nations are at war and there is combat, strategic fortifications or territory are captured.

What is your point.

Please explain.

Waiting...
51 rynvh (#) Jan 06th, 2013 - 12:19 am Report abuse
Waiting for a answer from someone with a reply!
Spain will block all aircraft that uses its airspace to land at Gibraltar airport which is built on land that the British stole illegally which where not ceded under the treaty of utrect 1713.ps what will happen to the airport if no planes arrive ,does that mean that monarch or any other plane coming from the uk will have to fly allong all the west side of spain out of spanish airspace that will be very expensive, what a shame , will britain now respect the lisbon agreement or the brusell one.kind regards from a nationalist spaniard who needs to be distracted from spain crisis.ps is the uk not in any debt ps do homework before saying spain is in the pits, ps spain is in better shape than the uk in terms of debt.hasta la vista baby
52 ChrisR (#) Jan 06th, 2013 - 10:54 am Report abuse
51 rynvh

What bollocks you do write!

If Spain, still an EU Member and recipient of huge EU funds did attempt to block the airspace to any flights it would be in real trouble with the EU.

Stop making it up, Spain is no longer run by a fascist, just a bunch of idiots. Get used to it.
53 Anglotino (#) Jan 06th, 2013 - 11:00 am Report abuse
@51 rynvh

I'd expect a “Spanish nationalist” would know something about their history. Alas no! It's no wonder though as Gibraltar was only Spanish for 242 years and has been British for 308 years.

Spain has blockaded Gibraltar before. Spain laid siege to it in 1727 and then 1779 for 4 YEARS. Spain closed the border from 1969 for 13 YEARS. Hardly sounds like Spain was very accepting of the Treaty of Utrecht now does it-unless laying siege was a provision? So Spain breached the Treaty if Utrecht as far back as 1727.

As for the isthmus. There were no maps in the treaty. Just “dominion is ceded over the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging”. Some of those forts are now in La Linea which shows the extent. Either way this area was supposed to be neutral territory that has now been divided between Gibraltar and Spain (La Linea). Spain has breached this provision too. The current border which has been permanently manned by Britain sentries for nearly 180 years was fenced in 1908; to which the Spanish government did not protest.

But if no planes arrive then I guess travelling by ship will have to do. Or perhaps a ferry service to a nice new airport built in Morocco.

“will britain now respect the lisbon agreement or the brusell one”

I have read the Lisbon Agreement of 1980 and how is Britain in breach? It clearly states in paragraph 5: “For its part the British Government will fully maintain its commitment to honour the freely and democratically expressed wishes of the people of Gibraltar as set out in the Preamble to the Gibraltar Constitution”. The Brussels Agreement of 1984 is not breached either. Though you seem to support Spain breaching both of them.

Yeah I think it is you that needs to do some homework and please don't embarrass yourself comparing my country to yours.

Hasta la vista indeed.

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