MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 22nd 2018 - 17:39 UTC

Gibraltar takes its “Brexit” concerns to the Scotland's ruling party conference

Saturday, October 15th 2016 - 10:20 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia next to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the SNP conference in Glasgow Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia next to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the SNP conference in Glasgow

Gibraltar Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Joseph Garcia has said it should be possible for different parts of the British family of nations to enjoy varying degrees of participation with the European Union in the future. Dr. Garcia was speaking in Glasgow during the Scottish National Party conference, in the presence of Scotland’s Minister for Europe and International Development Dr. Alisdair Allan MSP.

 Gibraltar Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Joseph Garcia has said it should be possible for different parts of the British family of nations to enjoy varying degrees of participation with the European Union in the future. Dr. Garcia was speaking in Glasgow during the Scottish National Party conference, in the presence of Scotland’s Minister for Europe and International Development Dr. Alisdair Allan MSP.

The event at the conference was a first for Gibraltar and was well attended, including several members of Scottish Parliament, Westminster MPs and Councilors.

The issue of Spain was also brought up in Dr. Garcia’s address. He said the acting Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, was shamelessly taking advantage of ‘Brexit’ in order to push for shared sovereignty and that Spain has to learn to respect the will of the people.

The Deputy Chief Minister recalled that the position at present is precisely one where different parts of the British family enjoy different relationships with the European Union. He explained that the participation which Scotland enjoys with the EU is different to Gibraltar's which in turn is different to the Channel Islands, the Falklands or Bermuda. However he emphasized that it should be possible to find the political will to carry this multi-faceted relationship forward in a post-Brexit scenario.

The Deputy Chief Minister reminded delegates that Gibraltar had voted by 96% to remain in the European Union and that 62% of Scotland had also voted the same way. It was important to recognize the will of the people and to find solutions to the challenges that were going to come our way.

He traced the historic relationship between Gibraltar and Scotland, pointing out that it was a brave and resolute Scot, General Augustus Elliott, who had led the defense of the Rock during the Great Siege holding out against Spain for three years. The Royal Scots Regiment were also involved in that defense. Incredibly, a descendant of one of General Elliott's officers was actually in the audience. He produced a letter describing the Siege that his relative had written in 1795!

Dr Garcia went on to explain that the first Scottish Regiment that has been able to be traced in Gibraltar were the King's Own Scottish Borderers from 1727 to 1738. This tradition had continued over the years, for example, with the Royal Highlanders, or Black Watch, who were stationed in Gibraltar during the Second World War.

More recently, he said on a lighter note, Gibraltar had scored its first competitive goal precisely against Scotland and Lincoln Red Imps had beaten Celtic 1-0 in the first leg of the Champions League!

The Deputy Chief Minister made it clear that the issues for Gibraltar were access to the Single Market and Freedom of Movement of persons. He explained that, like Scotland, Gibraltar welcomed immigrant workers who made up about half the Rock's labor force. He outlined the position of over 10,000 frontier workers in the economy of Gibraltar and stated that “Brexit” posed a serious challenge for them too.

Gibraltar had the additional complication of a hostile neighbor to the north that was trying to take it over. He noted that Scotland had dealt with its once hostile neighbor to the south by taking it over in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became James I of England. “Sadly taking over Spain is not an option currently open to us”, he said.

The Deputy Chief Minister went on to explain how García Margallo, the acting Spanish Foreign Minister was shamelessly taking advantage of “Brexit” in order to push for shared sovereignty over Gibraltar between the United Kingdom and Spain. Shared sovereignty had been rejected by the people of Gibraltar in 2002 and they continued to reject it to this day.

“Spain has to learn to respect the will of the people”, he concluded. “That is what self-determination means and what democracy is all about”.

Spain has, for the first time ever, asked the annual Ibero Latin American Summit for its support on the Gibraltar question. It’s asked the Colombian Government, as the organizers, to circulate the text for the summit to adopt a resolution for the resumption of sovereignty talks over Gibraltar. The proposed text has to be approved by consensus. Every year, participating countries approve a proposal by Argentina calling on the UK to enter into bilateral negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Last week Spain also wrote a letter to all EU Member States, asking for their support in ensuring Gibraltar is excluded from Brexit negotiations with the UK.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Lord Lucan

    Scotland's people dont want to leave the UK. They have no stomach for public service poverty. They don't qualify to join the EU in their own right. Gibraltar should be careful who they associate with.

    Oct 15th, 2016 - 05:48 pm +2
  • Pete Bog

    Surely if Scotland leave the EU they will be allowed to run their own fisheries , reclaim the past fishing industry which would surely benefit their economy. And if they want to remain to attract EU funding, have they not worked out that if the UK does not contribute to the EU coffers on Brexit, which country is going to replace the UK as one of the major contributors to the EU?. So in the case that Scotland was independent, where would the EU funding come from, unless the EU finds another sugar daddy to fund it?

    Oct 15th, 2016 - 08:21 pm +2
  • Briton

    Scotland will stay with us,
    the SNP is driving a wedge between lunacy and democracy,
    and I suspect democracy will win,
    and the SNP lunatic ideals will end up turning the people against them,

    Gibraltar on the other hand should not play with fire,
    she will get her fingers severally burnt,
    just an opinion.

    Oct 15th, 2016 - 08:53 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!