Saturday, February 9th 2013 - 08:38 UTC

Financial Times gets it wrong on Falklands and Gibraltar ‘trilateral’ dialogue

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo this week wrote to the Financial Times after the respected financial daily made a glaring error about Gibraltar in an editorial column centred on Argentina.

Picardo: UK is not going to engage bilaterally with Spain on the future of our homeland

The newspaper stated wrongly that the UK did not insist that “Gibraltar islanders” attend any talks with the Spanish about the future of the Rock.

“Successive British Foreign Secretaries have insisted that they will not engage bilaterally with Spain on Gibraltar issues, referring their counterparts to the Trilateral Process for Dialogue in which the UK, Spain and Gibraltar have agreed to discuss all matters of mutual interest except sovereignty,” Mr Picardo wrote in the letter, which was published this week.

“The UK, Gibraltar and the PSOE (opposition Socialist party) in Spain have repeatedly stated strong commitment to the continuation of that forum for dialogue despite the ruling PP’s ‘Timerman-like’ insistence that Gibraltar be excluded from such talks.”

“In addition, the UK has long agreed that it will not engage in talks about Gibraltar’s sovereignty with Spain unless the people of Gibraltar wish such talks to be commenced.”

“Rightly, the UK is therefore clearly on record setting out that it is not going to engage bilaterally with Spain on the future of our homeland.”

The FT article raised Gibraltar in its analysis on Argentina’s troubled relations with the UK. Argentine foreign minister Héctor Timerman refused to meet with his British counterpart after William Hague insisted that the Falklands be represented if their discussion touched on the future of the Islands.

“To be fair, the UK does not insist that Gibraltar islanders attend talks with the Spanish,” the FT said. “Then again, Spain has not elevated Gibraltar to the centre point of its foreign policy.”

The FT editorial also prompted another reply from one Gavan Sellers in London.

“In your editorial on Argentine pride, you point out that the UK does not insist that “Gibraltar islanders” attend talks with the Spanish,” Mr Sellers wrote. “Could part of the reason for this approach be that none could be found”.

11 comments Feed

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1 Pete Bog (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 12:25 pm Report abuse
Note that the Spanish also use the false transplanted argument over Gibraltar. Clearly Fabian must be a transplant with a surname such as Picardo.
2 Anglotino (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 12:44 pm Report abuse
“Gibraltar Islanders”.

As nonexistent as Malvina Islanders.
3 Conqueror (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 01:32 pm Report abuse
@2 Not least because Gibraltar isn't an island. It's a peninsula. A British peninsula!
4 Anglotino (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 02:07 pm Report abuse
Yes I gathered as much when I walked from Spain across the border. No swimming was needed.
5 Clyde15 (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 04:31 pm Report abuse
When I first went to Gib. in 1962, you had to walk across no-mans land to get into La Linea. A peculiar feeling !
I went again from the Spanish side in 2004. It was quite a shock to see the Spanish had moved into this area and built houses almost up to the frontier. The only swimming I indulged in was from Eastern beach or Catalan Bay.
I had almost forgotten that Franco was in power in 1962
with all that entailed for freedom of speech in Spain.
6 MrFlagpole (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 05:47 pm Report abuse
Bit pedantic isn't it? There's a joke in the Simpsons about the difference between an island and a peninsula.

As for Gibraltar. Spain sold it to us. If they want it back they can make an offer. Which we will not accept.
7 toooldtodieyoung (#) Feb 09th, 2013 - 08:52 pm Report abuse
“Financial Times gets it wrong on Falklands and Gibraltar”

THE Financial Times??? THE FT?? getting it wrong??? The same paper that in a 10 week period in summer 2011, spelt it's own name wrong twice?? That FT??

I can't believe what I am reading!! oh hang on a minute....Yes I can!!
8 Lord Ton (#) Feb 10th, 2013 - 01:29 am Report abuse
If anyone's interested -

I must get a life !
9 Conqueror (#) Feb 10th, 2013 - 07:18 pm Report abuse
@6 Sorry? When did they “sell” it? History says that they “ceded” it. It's not the same thing.
10 briton (#) Feb 10th, 2013 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
no FT,
no Comment
11 MrFlagpole (#) Feb 10th, 2013 - 10:46 pm Report abuse
@9 yes ceded it in return for money.

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