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UK tells Spain: ‘no sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content’

Thursday, October 3rd 2013 - 21:58 UTC
Full article 48 comments
PM Cameron made reference to the written statement before UN during the Tories conference in Manchester PM Cameron made reference to the written statement before UN during the Tories conference in Manchester

Britain has enshrined, in a written statement to the United Nations, its commitment that it will not enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content. And it has also reaffirmed its sovereignty over Gibraltar and its territorial waters, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle.

The statement is made as a brief but clear formal right of reply to Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy who delivered a call for Brussels talks last week. The UK reply was delivered last Friday formally to the UN General Assembly and was referred to by David Cameron in his address at the Gibraltar reception last Sunday at the Conservative Conference, Manchester.

The news breaks as Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo told journalists yesterday that there has been “progress” in relation to the Gibraltar row. “There has been progress but I am not going to say what. I am learning to be diplomatic,” he said.

Next week Gibraltar and Spain will address the UN Fourth Committee on decolonisation at which UK sometimes responds using a further right of reply.

The statement from the UK to the UN last Friday said that, following an initial proposal by the UK and the Government of Gibraltar to Spain in April 2012, the UK “notes a constructive move to ad hoc talks with the aim of taking forward co-operation on issues of mutual importance through means which fully reflect the interests, rights and responsibilities of the people of Gibraltar.”

It also said that “the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland continues to enjoy strong relations with Spain and will continue, together with Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, to work constructively on all Gibraltar-related issues.”

The right of reply declared that “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland recalls its sovereignty over Gibraltar and the Territorial Waters surrounding it and reaffirms that, as a separate territory recognised by the United Nations and included since 1946 in its list of non-self governing territories, Gibraltar enjoys the individual and collective rights accorded by the UN Charter.”

It said that the 2006 Gibraltar Constitution provides for a modern and mature relationship between Gibraltar and the UK. “This description would not apply to any relationship based on colonialism,” it said reiterating previous statements at the UN.

The UK statement reiterated its “longstanding commitment to the people of Gibraltar that it will not enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another State against their wishes.”

“The United Kingdom also confirms that it will not enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content. The United Kingdom Government notes the desires of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar to continue the Trilateral Forum for Dialogue as the most credible, constructive and practical means of strengthening UK-Gibraltar-Spain relations for the benefit of all parties. The United Kingdom regrets the fact that the Government of Spain withdrew from those talks in 2011.”
 

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • Britworker

    It is quite simple really, there is nothing complicated about it all. I suppose it will just come down to how far Spain want to push it and the consequences they are prepared to risk.

    Oct 03rd, 2013 - 10:10 pm 0
  • Anglotino

    The UK again shows the world how it's done.

    Oct 03rd, 2013 - 10:38 pm 0
  • screenname

    José Manuel García-Margallo: “There has been progress but I am not going to say what. I am learning to be diplomatic,”

    A very very interesting quote, if correct. In the future could we see a joint bid by Spain and the UK to remove the protected status of Gibraltar waters, the blocks lifted out of the water, and more land reclaimation by Gib?

    Oct 04th, 2013 - 02:07 am 0
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