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Spain’s PP wants a return to ‘bilateralism’ in dealing with the Gibraltar dispute

Friday, November 4th 2011 - 00:38 UTC
Full article 7 comments
Mariano Rajoy is expected to sweep into office next November 20 Mariano Rajoy is expected to sweep into office next November 20

Gibraltar could be heading for stormy days if as opinion polls indicate Spain’s Partido Popular sweeps into power and has plans to resuscitate the ‘bilateral’ Brussels process by opposition to the current ‘trilateral’ talks.

The PP has made clear its position on repeated occasions recently and its inclusion in the electoral manifesto (published this week) in terse terms comes as no surprise. The party is pushing for a return to bilateralism and the ‘two flags, three voices’ formula of the 1980s.

The PP argues that only Spain and the UK can have a vote or veto in any discussion over Gibraltar, as opposed to the trilateral formula which recognises Gibraltar as an equal member. The policy is set out in a single line in the party’s 214-page manifesto.

“In relation to the Gibraltar dispute, we will recover the Brussels process,” the document says.

The PP with its leader Mariano Rajoy is expected to sweep into power when Spain goes to the polls in a general election on November 20, casting doubt over the future of the trilateral forum.

A return to bilateralism would encounter firm opposition from all parties in Gibraltar.

Chief Minister Peter Caruana has made the point on numerous occasions during public interventions in recent months, most recently during the Gibraltar Day in London.

Caruana told guests that it was self-evident that “only trilateral relations are acceptable.”

Bilateral negotiations between the UK and Spain on any issue relating to Gibraltar would “…as a matter of political architecture represent a violation of, and betrayal of, the political rights of the people of Gibraltar to determine their own political future.”

The ruling PSOE also published its manifesto this week but, in contrast to the PP, there was not a mention of Gibraltar.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Think

    Trilateralism is dead…
    Long live bilateralism…
    Yet another nail on the British diplomatic coffin in the South-Atlantic.

    Nov 04th, 2011 - 04:58 am 0
  • Redhoyt

    Spain has as much chance as Argentina = NONE !

    No nails - not even tin tacks. Getting close to Gibraltar's 300 anniversary.

    I wonder what the Falkland Islanders will do when they get to theirs :-)

    Nov 04th, 2011 - 06:11 am 0
  • Rufus

    One (slightly ambigouos) line in a 214 page manifesto. I think that more qualifies as a felt tack than a nail.

    In any case, I believe that the policy will be trilateral talks (as in Gibraltar) or monolateral talks (as in Argentina whinging to anyone who doesn't run away fast enough that the UK and the Falkland Islands Government aren't listening to them).

    Nov 04th, 2011 - 12:49 pm 0
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