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The 2002 lost chance for the Gibraltar-Spain conflict according to former UK Europe minister Peter Hain

Wednesday, August 7th 2013 - 16:03 UTC
Full article 23 comments

Former UK Europe Minister Peter Hain has said that the failure to recognise Spain’s historic claim over the Rock is the root of the issues Gibraltar has with its neighbours. Hain made his comments during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Read full article


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  • LEPRecon

    Mr Hain, the ONLY resolution possible is for Spain to recognise that the people of Gibraltar have RIGHTS including the right to self-determination.

    Your attempt in 2002 to stab them in the back failed BECAUSE the people of Gibraltar exercised their rights.

    Gibraltar is a self-governing British Overseas Territory. They rule themselves, and won't be dictated to, either from London or Madrid.

    As I recall, Mr Hain, a good proportion of the British people thought you were a back-stabbing traitor in 2002.

    As for Gibraltar being Spanish, they're not, and they actually HAVE NEVER BEEN a part of Spain.

    Let's work chronologically backwards:

    2013 AD - Gibraltar continues to exercise it's right to self-determination (as laid out in the UN Charter).
    2002 AD - Mr Hain tries to stab Gibraltar in the back by trying to give their lands and homes away WITHOUT their consent (which is in breach of the UN Charter)
    1713 AD - The treaty of Utrecht is signed ceding Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity
    1704 AD - A joint British/Dutch force capture Gibraltar from the Kingdom of Castile (not Spain)
    1502 AD - the final muslims are forced out of what would become Spain
    1492 AD - the Christians force the majority of Moors out of what would become Spain
    711 AD - the Moors invade 'Spain' and force the Vandals out
    409 AD - the Vandals invade and force the Romans out
    218 BC - the Roman's invade Spain
    Prior to Rome's invasion Celtic tribes: the Lusitani, Celtiberians and Iberians lived in 'Spain'.
    There is also evidence that Neanderthals also lived in Spain.

    So as you can see, Mr Hain, Gibraltar was only Spanish for approximately 202 years, and even then it was actually the Kingdom of Castille NOT the Kingdom of Spain.

    So 'technically' Spain has NEVER held sovereignty over Gibraltar. So by what right can they claim sovereignty over this territory?

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Dominic H.

    What part of “ceded in perpetuity” does Hain misunderstand? You cannot have a claim to something you traded away. And even if the Treaty of Utrecht doesn't apply in modern international law, which Spain claims, the that same international law recognizes that Gibraltar has a right to self-determination and statehood.

    And really, Spain should worry more about the Kingdom of Aragon restoting its sovereignty.

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    Just to add to what LEPRecon has said, the results of the referendum held on Gibraltar are still available.
    87.9% of the electorate voted. There were 89 (0.49%) invalid or blank votes.
    187 (1.03%) voted FOR shared sovereignty.
    17,900 (98.48%) voted AGAINST.
    Just as conclusive as the Falklands referendum!

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    Mr Hain has actually considered the situation from both angles. How dare he.

    He probably only did it because he has that fancy ability of his to take a neutral and dispassionate view. The fellows a cad.

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Dominic H.

    Considering their situation, perhaps Britain and Gibraltar should discuss the shared sovereignty of Spain. Or maybe the EU will dissolve Spain and sell it piecemeal to pay back Angela Merkel!

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LEPRecon

    @4 Vestige

    It's very easy to be dispassionate when it's someone else's home, land and lives on the line.

    I wonder if he would've felt the same if someone tried to give his home away to a foreign power, with NO consultation or regards to his wishes, feelings or even the rule of law?

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    Goodbye Mr Hain, if you hadn't completely resigned yourself to political fallow before, then you have now.

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 06:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Dominic H.


    It's not all that surprising. At the same time, he was also negotiating away Britain's sovereignty to Bruxelles.

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 06:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    Please Vain Hain why don't you move to Spain (good for Mr Teflon's perma tan.)

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 06:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    A common travel area, like between GB and Ireland, could be one option on the table.
    How about that ? rhetoric.

    N.Ireland has yet to be invaded from Southern Irelandand that was a lot more troublesome and contentious.

    Spanish get freedom of movement in/out the area unchecked and at will.
    British retain citizenship, law, and power to eject*, decide on who lives there and now have guaranteed free movement in/out.

    I think that could tone it down a lot, theres less of a sense of denial to the Spanish**, a lowered sense of tribalism all round, and no more mandatory border checks all round.

    Effectively replacing a fixed built visual border which keeps people in/out, with non visual police powers to effectively do the same thing.

    * some legal tweaking, possible co-ordination with Spanish police.
    **(which otherwise will never die off - take a look at a map from a young Spaniards point of view)

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 07:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    But Vestige,

    why are you so ardently behaving Pro-Spanish, or more correctly, Anti-British, given the pattern of your past 'positions'?

    Just a knee-jerk Contrarian??

    Aug 07th, 2013 - 10:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Steve-33-uk

    Gibraltar is only a British overseas territory because the Gibraltarian people currently wish to maintain links with the UK. It is not up to morons like Peter Hain to decide how Gibraltar should be governed, it is Gibraltar's decision how they are governed.
    They may in the future wish to become an independent nation or be part of Spain or remain a British overseas territory.
    Its their choice not anyone else's.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 04:38 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    But Troy,

    why are you so anti-me, and anti-Spanish, did you read my suggestion and have a knee jerk reaction?

    Just a knee-jerk Contrarian??

    You won't find any Anti-British comments on here from me, even in light of all the personal insults and all out generalized racism to anything non white Anglo-Saxon Protestant just plenty of rightfully Anti-British-foreign-policy/colonialism comments and one or two digs at the 1500 squatters.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 06:48 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    Racism ???


    Aug 08th, 2013 - 11:29 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Swiss Bob

    Hain isn't even British let alone English. He should sod off back to SA.

    He's a failed politician thrown out because he was a crook, a strangely orange one at that.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 11:35 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • brucey-babe

    @1. LEPRecon.
    There is also evidence that Neanderthals also lived in Spain.
    God man, they`re still there !

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 11:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • aussie sunshine

    38-39º temperatures on the weekend..great weather for long lines on the border!!! don´t forget your bottle of water!!

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 11:45 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    14 - why - on this very site Troy, on many many pages Troy. All latino's are this all rg's are that. And then personal insults to me ... you're an Argie this, you're a Spanish that...and all from people who don't know my race or nationality. :)

    Not that I was keeping track of the names (as not one tiny shxt has ever been given) so I'm not pointing to you in this.

    Anyway ... digression - irrelevant....Common travel area, I think its a win for both sides.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 12:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    I am talking about you and me, personally.

    I have stated over and over again that I have no beef or dislike of the “RG” people, just their dysfunctional government and and the amoral Trolls who support them through propaganda - that's you.

    Same for Spain.

    Naturally, I am supportive of the Brits. In both cases Gib and Falklands, a foreign neighbour is economically bullying the civilian population of 200 years or more, and demanding their lands homes and freedom.
    I am British and a member of the same Commonwealth of Nations.

    You, the Troll, jump on ANY bandwagon that criticises the Brits or wants to take something from them. That includes your “Malvinas” Sovereignty supporters, Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain etc.

    Your most “sincere” and persistent argument is “the Brits don't 'belong' in the South Atlantic”.
    Why?? Could you just be anti-British, racist???

    Whatever you protest - that it is how it appears, objectively.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 01:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Vestige

    So now Im accused of propaganda. Or as some others might say... having a differing opinion.

    Anyway.......distraction techniques and personal insults aside.

    Common travel area, I think its a win for both sides.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 03:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Peter, you shame us, you shame Britain,
    And you are a total twat,

    A very rich ambitious twat, but a twat all the same.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 03:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    21 Briton

    100% correct.

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 03:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • brucey-babe

    22 ChrisR

    Agreed .

    Aug 08th, 2013 - 04:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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