Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has declared that UK-Spain bilateralism is “dead and will never ever be revived under any circumstances” regarding the Rock’s future.
Picardo was responding to recent remarks by the Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Federico Trillo, to the effect that the UK and Spain have recovered “bilateralism” over Gibraltar.
“This is totally contrary to the reality communicated to all Spanish officials by the UK Government,” said Mr Picardo.
A Convent Place spokesman continued: “The position of the UK restated repeatedly by the Foreign Secretary and the Minister for Europe and even by the Prime Minister himself, is that ‘there’s no change in the (British) Government’s position. It’s for the people of Gibraltar themselves to determine their future and we wouldn’t engage in any discussion about Gibraltar that the Gibraltarians didn’t want us to engage in and I think that’s important to understand.’
“In fact, Gibraltar is united against any bilateral engagement between the UK and Spain over Gibraltar. UK/Spain Bilateralism is dead and will never ever be revived under any circumstances. Spanish ministers and their diplomatic corps need to understand that.
“On numerous occasions since taking office, Chief Minister Picardo has stated categorically that Gibraltar continues to support the trilateral process and cannot subscribe to any other form of dialogue with the Spanish state.
“Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar believes the Tripartite Forum provides an adequate framework to resolve matters of mutual interest to the citizens on both sides of the border. This is our policy and is totally in line with the policy of the British Government as also stated on numerous occasions and communicated to the Spanish Foreign Minister by William Hague.
“There is therefore no change in the policies of either the UK or Gibraltar on the matter and the Spanish Government, media and, presumably, Spanish diplomats must be fully aware of this”.