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World at One Friday, 12 July, 2002, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Gibraltar deal in offing
Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith visits the rock
The Gibraltar issue divides the two main Westminster parties
The government has admitted what was widely suspected by the people of Gibraltar, sovereignty could be shared with Spain.

There have already been demonstrations this year, bringing most of the island out onto the streets to protest any move to change the status of the island.

But this morning, the foreign secretary confirmed Gibraltarians' worst fears.

The shadow foreign secretary, Conservative Michael Ancram, called that announcement a disgrace and a sellout.

Mr Straw should have been in Spain today negotiating the island's future with his Spanish counterpart.

This week's sudden Spanish government reshuffle put paid to that, as the new Spanish foreign minister, Ana Palacio, reads herself in.

But it is fairly clear that there are two main sticking points in those talks, whenever they take place.

One is the future of the British base, and the other is the veto of the Gibraltarians. Britain says there must be a referendum before any change.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Spain and the UK are in broad agreement
Former Gibraltar chief minister Joe Bossano
We will not contemplate our sovereignty
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