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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
The Gibraltar talks: Can a solution be found?
Talks on the future of Gibraltar are due to be held between Tony Blair and his Spanish counterpart Jose Maria Aznar.

The London meeting follows a series of mass protests by residents of the British colony, who are overwhelmingly opposed to a deal on shared sovereignty.

The two governments are keen to reach a compromise, but "real differences" emerged during negotiations between British and Spanish officials last week.

Spain fears that Britain's demands for a 'durable' deal based on a referendum of Gibraltar's inhabitants will lead to a 'no' vote with effects lasting for years.

Can a solution be found this time? Who do you think should govern Gibraltar?

This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

In this whole discussion of the sovereignty of The Rock, where is our wonderful sovereign? Why is Her Majesty's Government so eager to give up one of its territories to our Spanish "friends"? If they were so friendly they wouldn't threaten an end to "good relations" and continue to harass British citizens in British territories in a similar way to what Franco did in the 1970s etc. This whole affair makes me feel ashamed to be British!
Darren, Scotland

It is high time that we in Britain realised that the days of colonial imperialism are over.

Eric Craik, Scotland
It is about time that the little outcrop known as Gibraltar was handed back to Spain. It is a part of the Iberian Peninsula and as such it's rightful home is Spain. It is high time that we in Britain realised that the days of colonial imperialism are over. By the same token the Falkland Islands should be detached from Britain. Whether Argentina has a claim on them is another matter. It is now the 21st century not the 18th or 19th.
Eric Craik, Scotland

As far as I can see, the "problem" is Spanish demands for sovereignty over a territory which doesn't want them. The "solution" would seem to be for them to stop.
Anthony, UK

Why is this even an issue? Gibraltar is British, so why does the Government feel the need to discuss this? This country has gone way too soft. It's about time the UK stood up to the way the Spain treats Gibraltar.
Tom G, UK

I have never understood those comments re Gibraltar, and earlier the Falklands that we should hand them back. The point is that Gibraltarians and Falklanders are British and want to stay as such. If an aggressor had invaded the Isle of White would there have been any debate as to its defence?
Guy Heaton, UK

Blair should concentrate on the needs of the people of the UK

Karel, UK
The people of Gibraltar do not need President Blair interfering with their way of life as they have managed quite well since 1713. A lot longer than the United States has existed. Spain has no claim on Gib either. Blair should concentrate on the needs of the people of the UK.
Karel, UK

Why not make it independent?
Khalid, India/UK

The calls for joint UK-Spanish control of Gibraltar stem from a need to control the drug smugglers and money launderers who use The Rock as a base and exploit its semi-independent status. The defence portrayal of Gibraltar as a little piece of England on the Mediterranean is entirely predictable and utterly misguided.
James, UK

Pity the poor people of Gibraltar who still think that democracy and the will of the people have a place in today's EU.
Peter, UK

The EU cannot allow Spain to take sovereignty over Gibraltar, because this would mean setting aside the Treaty of Utrecht which is the foundation of the modern European countries. If Spain succeeded in setting this treaty aside and claiming Gibraltar, they would have established a legal claim also to the rest of their property ceded under this treaty, covering significant holdings now in modern Netherlands, France and Italy. Conversely, this would also allow France to attempt to re-assert it's sovereignty over large parts of Spain! The treaty of Utrecht was the cornerstone on which 300 years of diplomacy and comparative peace in Europe rests - it should not be destroyed for Spain's greed.
Bernard, UK

Being a place of extreme strategic importance its position must never be compromised

Jonathan Lieberman, USA
I have done extensive research on the Gibraltar situation for a class of mine in university and the dealings over Gibraltar have huge implications. Being a place of extreme strategic importance its position must never be compromised. When economies are based on the traffic which passes through these straits, would you want to destabilise it with giving it over to Spain? Also, Mr. Blair's double crossing what the Gibraltarian constitution clearly stipulates self determination of destiny! This is clearly an attempt to form an Anglo-Spanish alliance to get into the "driving seat" of Europe. What we are seeing is another step towards a federal Europe.
Jonathan Lieberman, USA

The Gibraltarians only want to remain British due to the tax credits they get. Tough, why should the rest of us subsidise them. Britain should end all claims to Empire across the world and concentrate the funds that would otherwise go there here on issues that are far more important. The fact is the Gibraltar is geographically part of Spain. Yes it is in a very useful strategic position and to be able to keep the Military base open would be of benefit to the UK, if we had an empire and we still owned the Suez Canal, but we don't therefore it is of no use to us whatsoever. Give it back to Spain and leave it at that.
Tom O'D, UK

The simple fact is that Gibraltar belongs to the UK. It's not like Hong Kong where we leased it for a few years. If I buy a car from Ford, I don't expect Ford to come knocking on my door a couple of years later asking for it back just because they want it. I know that we never bought Gibraltar, but the fact remains, its not Spain's to claim. It seems the British, or at least our Government, can't help giving our assets away.
Karl, Northants, UK

Once an ex-pat myself living just 20 minutes from Gibraltar, it was clear to me then that the Spanish closest to the Rock were, to say the least, indifferent to this issue. Ironically, a large portion of Gibraltar's resident population despite being of Spanish descent were fiercely opposed to Spanish rule. What might this be telling us, I wonder and who can blame them? They were, themselves, often the victims of Spanish border officials under instruction to bring about as much distress as a 4 hour traffic jam in a 45c summer heat wave can achieve. Madrid's stance on all colonial fronts smacks of autonomous bureaucratic barrow-trading under the banner: "Don't do as we do. Do as we say."
Patrick Staton, U.K

Blair's attitude towards democracy is to ignore it if it doesn't suit his purposes. I guess that his reason for this whole charade is to appease the Spanish and claim to "engaging more heavily in Europe". As recent elections in Europe has shown, it a very real danger if politicians set their own agenda and ignore the majority's wishes. The people voted on this in 1969. End of story.
Edwin, Britain

Gibraltar doesn't cost the British taxpayer a penny - they are completely self-contained. They wish to remain British so where is the problem? If the Argentineans asked Mr Blair for the Falklands back no doubt he would ask them over to discuss it as well? After the First World War the League of Nations (later to become the UN) was set up to help countries, regions etc to have the courage to determine how they are governed. This is called self-determination. If Mr Blair doesn't respect that he should be charged by the UN.
Steve, UK

On the question of democracy the people of Gibraltar overwhelmingly want to remain part of the UK. On the question of finance, unlike other parts of the UK such as Wales, Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands, it is financially self-sufficient. Unless Mr Blair is about to start a trend of handing the Falklands to Argentina and Northern Ireland to Eire against the majority of their inhabitants then what on earth is his motivation for pursuing these talks?
Nick, UK

Your question asks, "Could a solution be found?" The people of the rock don't need a solution. They are very happy with the way things are "thank you very much" and wish you would leave them alone to choose their own future.
Mike, Israel

What luck for the Falkland Islanders that Mrs. Thatcher was PM at the time of the Argentine invasion. If Tony Blair had been PM at the time I wonder what he would have done.
Ian Hunter, Argentina

I feel sorry for Gibraltar

K. Ashley, Belgium
This saddens me greatly. It's another barometer (as if we needed another) of how Mr Blair enjoys acting in a sneaky backroom way. He will be remembered in years to come, as a man who road roughshod over democracy. An arrogant and unpleasant man. I feel sorry for Gibraltar and would urge them to 'go it alone' if they have to. A vote will be put to the people BUT with a threat of non-cooperation from Blair if they vote to stay as they are. How democratic!!
K. Ashley, Belgium

Gibraltar should be governed by Gibraltarians as an independent city-state with security guaranteed by the UN. My Gibraltarian ancestors built Gibraltar, it belongs to their heirs.
Eddie Bosano-Andrews, Ireland

So have I got Blair's views right? In Zimbabwe the people's rights must be respected by the government; in Gibraltar the people must be bribed or threatened into giving up their rights.
Roger, UK

Who knows, they could even get Peter Mandelson as their next Governor

Jason Carpenter, UK
The people of Gibraltar should brace themselves for a rough ride. If the way Tony Blair governs the rest of us in the UK is anything to go by they'll be bullied into accepting Spanish rule whatever they decide. Who knows, they could even get Peter Mandelson as their next Governor - which may just tempt many in Gibraltar to say yes to Spanish control!!!
Jason Carpenter, UK

It seems Gibraltarians wish to retain their links with Britain. That would be the end of matter, were it not for the contemptible actions of our Government in selling out those who have for so long remained loyal to Britain.
Andrew Dalton, England

Its all very well going on about democracy on Gibraltar - but does the UK majority wish for IT to remain British?
Martin Smith, UK

The only sensible and mature thing to do in the modern world is to accept the democratic will of the people

Nigel Smales, UK
Yet again, Blair, Straw, Hain & co find History beyond their comprehension, so they try to rewrite it. Gibraltar may have been occupied by the British in 1704, but it was ceded to Great Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. If treaties to end wars are ignored, then war is never-ending. The world is as it is in part because Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Great Britain were rival empire-builders. Great Britain is as it is because it was invaded by Vikings, Saxons and Normans. Spain is as it is because the Castilians drove out the Moors. These historical facts cannot be unpicked because someone feels a politically convenient retro-guilt. If it really wants to unpick things, perhaps Spain should start by returning not only Melilla and Ceuta to Morocco, but also Olivenca to Portugal (captured by Spain many years after Gibraltar became British). The only sensible and mature thing to do in the modern world is to accept the democratic will of the people.
Nigel Smales, UK

The only party that has any rights to govern Gibraltar are the Gibraltarians. They have been loyal to the UK since 1713.They now have come of age. The UK government must respect and support their wishes. If they don't, then Gibraltar should declare UDI. I am sure that there are many old colonies of UK that will support that move. We in Canada are 100% behind their wishes.
Robert Desoisa, Canada

The answer is simple, and was demonstrated at Monday's march. Why can't Messrs Blair, Hain & co understand?
Jane McKinnon, Gibraltar

How can the Gibraltarians call themselves British when they refused to take part in any current negotiations unless they where granted independent status from Britain? It is strange how this fact has been omitted by the above comments!
David Smith, British, living in Spain

The days of countries holding areas for the sake of it should be past

Tim, England
The days of countries holding areas for the sake of it should be past, those living in the area should decide - democratically - what their status is. The lack of this approach can be seen in the Balkans. However we are now part of Europe and the advantages of the greater whole are that it should not matter what you are, only who you are personally. British or Spanish Gibraltarians should be in charge of themselves and a similar arrangement should be put in place for Northern Ireland, the Balkans etc.
Tim, England

Who cares? So the people will have different flags and different passports. If you don't like it, move.
Edgar, UK

If the Gibraltarians want to remain British, then fine. As long as they pay their way the same as everyone else, with the appropriate level of taxation. People should have a right to chose who governs them, but shouldn't become a burden on their chosen "home" country.
Dave, France (Brit)

There was something wonderfully bizarre about seeing a couple of bobbies- complete with UK police helmets - chatting to one another in Spanish

M Lewis, Ireland
I'm writing from Dublin and as an Irishman, you might expect that I'd support the Spanish position, but I don't. I was actually in Gibraltar less than a fortnight ago for the first time, and was totally charmed by the place, and its extremely appealing mixture of British and Spanish. Curiously, Spanish is the first language of preference of most Gibraltarians - there was something wonderfully bizarre about seeing a couple of bobbies- complete with UK police helmets - chatting to one another in Spanish. But the people and the colony are undeniably British. And their opinions - their rights - have to be respected, regardless of Spanish sensibilities. Ironically, any change in Gibraltar's status would surely help to undermine Spain's own claims to Ceuta and Melilla. I've actually become a bit of a Gibraltarian myself, and I'm already planning a return visit.
M Lewis, Ireland

Gibraltarians have until now borne the hostile actions of the Spanish Government with fortitude because they believed in the unqualified support of successive British governments. For the first time people smell betrayal and that has done more to hurt Gibraltarians than all the abuse inflicted by successive Spanish governments. All we ask is that our rights as people in our own homeland be respected. These are no different to the rights that Britain is quick uphold elsewhere and over which they defended at war against Argentina.
Ivan Israel, Gibraltar.

I sincerely hope that Gibraltar remains British as I, for one, am proud to stand side by side with these tenacious and loyal fellow Brits.
Dan, England

".... An open foe may prove a curse, but a pretended friend is worse"...
Stephen Perera, Gibraltar

Gibraltar is neither UK's to give away, nor Spain's to claim

Daniel Borge, Bristol, England
As one of many Gibraltarians currently working within the UK, I am appalled and saddened as to how Mr Blair's Government is treating Gibraltar. Gibraltar is neither UK's to give away, nor Spain's to claim. Gibraltar's future should rest squarely on the shoulders of the Gibraltarians. Gibraltar should therefore be allowed to develop and eventually decolonise to its preferred political status, whatever it may be, as part of its right to self-determination of its future. It is not for any third party, be it Spain or Uganda, to have any say in our future.
Daniel Borge, Bristol, England

What possible democratic mandate does Tony Blair claim to have for changing the constitutional rights of the Gibraltarians? Furthermore how dare he try and bind future British governments by enforcing an agreement "in principle" regardless of the outcome of a referendum. Let Tony Blair put his proposals to the Gibraltarians let them vote and let that be the end of the matter. Democracy will have been served.
Howard Phillips, UK

I can't believe our government is even thinking about discussing the future of Gibraltar behind the backs of its citizens, let alone doing it! What is thing they call democracy? If Spain decided tomorrow to invade it just like Argentina did to the Falklands will we just sit back and say, "Fine, take it"? Let Gibraltar decide!
Michael, Scotland

Apart from the obvious already stated here (that it is up to the Gibraltarians), did Gibraltar have a referendum in the late 60's, and wasn't it one of the most polarised poles in history? The people have already voted, why keep having more referendums - because the result doesn't suit Mr. Blair?
Paul Hardcastle, Spain

Gibraltar as a piece of real estate isn't a lot of use to anybody. As a tactical fortress in times of conflict it is priceless

Chris B, England
If the Spanish get Gibraltar back, and keep their interests in North Africa as well, they will, if they feel so minded, have complete control over any shipping going into and out of the Mediterranean from the Atlantic. Gibraltar as a piece of real estate isn't a lot of use to anybody. As a tactical fortress in times of conflict it is priceless. With the Americans having a go at Afghanistan, coupled with their desire to kick Iraq for good measure, should this comparatively minor skirmish escalate we would need unrestricted access to the Mediterranean without needing to go through Suez or to grovel to the Spanish. Forget political expediency, forget democracy, and forget territorialism. Gibraltar should and must stay under British control for these reasons.
Chris B, England

There should be a commission of ten people (6 Gibraltarians, 4 Spanish) and a rotating chairman every two years. This would ensure that the Gibraltarians had a say- the Spanish had a voice and the rotating chairman had a casting vote. If Spain will not cede Gibraltar to the local population and UK doesn't want any more control in Gibraltar, then offer this option. Would Spain give back its rump territories in Morocco?
Charles M. Caplan, Spain

It's obvious that the people of Gibraltar do not want to be ruled by Spain and having been there, I can say with some authority that the people are more British in their language and attitudes, so what the British government should do is offer a deal to lease the land from Spain for 99 years, and continue on as before.
Kay, Canada

Mr Blair, unless you are both blind and deaf, the people of Gibraltar wish to remain British

Andrew Collinson, England
It amazes me that the news about the massive demonstration yesterday was "buried" yesterday. The rights of self-determination of the people that matter, i.e. the Gibraltarians, are being ignored by those who are supposedly representing our interests. Mr Blair, unless you are both blind and deaf, the people of Gibraltar wish to remain British.
Andrew Collinson, England

I think it should be good democratic practice that the Gibraltarians decide whether they want to be under British or Spanish authority. And everyone should of course have the right to keep his/her passport of choice. But the inhabitants of the rock should then also work out their economic situation: They cannot expect to be subsidized by the British taxpayer forever.
Ronald Vopel, Belgium

I am absolutely outraged at what is happening! I am very proud of my Gibraltarian connection and of how the Gibraltarians are speaking out and standing up for their beliefs and their rights. I have just read all the comments that have been posted on this site, and not one has doubted that the Gibraltarians should have the right to decide. Who has more rights than the people the decision is going to affect? Surely 25000 people can't be wrong. Why isn't anyone listening to them? What are they thinking? I applaud Mr. Caruana. He mustn't stand down. With the support of the Gibraltarians worldwide and others around the world who feel just as strongly as I do, injustice should be avoided.
Karina Flood, South Africa

The very least Spain can do is apply its own policy on overseas territories to the case of Gibraltar

Anthony Miller, Australia

I agree with the comments of an earlier respondent. If the wishes of the Gibraltarians are going to be ignored, then the status of Ceuta and Melilla really needs to be put on the table. The majority of the population within these Spanish exclaves on African soil do not wish to become part of Morocco, and Spain is perfectly happy to heed this call. The very least that Britain can do is behave in a like manner. And for that matter, the very least Spain can do is apply its own policy on overseas territories to the case of Gibraltar. Otherwise hypocrisy will be seen to have triumphed over democracy.
Anthony Miller, Australia

The vast majority of Gibraltarians want to remain governed by the UK. A majority (55% at time of writing) of correspondents here think so too. So where are the politicians? Trying to stitch up a sleazy deal in the background and promising a 35M bribe.

Mr Blair's motives surely cannot be to represent these UK citizens. Rather we should spend a moment or two reflecting on his own European ambitions and his desire to be as "on-side" as possible with one of the main players. The people of Gibraltar stood up mightily for Britain in WWII. It is shameful that they should now encounter this lack of backbone from the very people whom they regard as representing their ruling country.
John Moonie, Scotland

If Gibraltarians really want to be part of Spain as Michael Jennings suggests what is needed is a multiple-choice referendum.
Graham, UK

Michael Jennings comments that Gibraltar is and should be part of Spain and that the British occupy it illegally. He is wrong on both counts. The fact that Gibraltar is land linked to Spain does not mean that it should be Spanish. The history of Spain and Gibraltar shows that the Moorish peoples owned (and gave name to) the Rock of Gibraltar. The Moors and the British have both "owned" Gibraltar for a longer period than the Spanish. As for the illegal occupation, am I to understand that the Utrecht agreement was invalid for some reason? What is clear is that the overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians want to remain allied to Britain and not Spain. Why should we go against such an overwhelming consensus of support?
Rob Popham, London, UK

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that Gibraltar was and should be a part of Spain. As most Gilbraltarians do want reunification with Spain but are scared to say so because of political pressure, I see no reason for the continuation of British colonial rule. We are proud to be Spanish, and as such, demand an end to Britain's illegal occupation.
Michael Jennings, Gilbraltar

Why should the Gibraltarians assume that they can remain part of Britain? Yes, they should have the right to decide their own government, and their own allegiances. They should be given independence, and then they should be free to agree treaties with whichever countries they wish - including Britain and Spain. Such treaties might include common citizenship. Once this principle is established, we should apply it to Northern Ireland.

If anyone needs further evidence that the EU exists to remove the rights of and act in a manner contrary to the preferences of its subjects then this is surely it. (For those of you naive enough to think this is not an EU issue, please check some facts re VAT and air traffic).
KW, ex UK

I was born and raised in Gibraltar and although I have been living in the U.K. for the last thirty six years, I still consider Gib my home. It is the place I grew up in. It is for me and my fellow Gibraltarian brothers and sisters to decide our future. Why should we have to vote in a referendum to continue to be (British) Gibraltarians? We are who we are, and if age should count in all this, let me remind you that we are older than the Americans. In two years time we shall be three hundred years old.

People may argue from a geographical point of view and say it is in the Iberian peninsular, therefore it should be Spanish but does that mean Portugal should be Spanish too? If the British Government want to end this so called problem they're having with Spain, they should push Spain into agreeing that if we have to vote once again in a referendum, then the outcome must be respected and they (The Spanish) shall forever cease their claim to Gibraltar.
Eddie Adamberry, U.K.

Having being deployed in Gibraltar several times as part of the British armed forces I know who these people prefer for sovereignty and it is not Spain. Please do not sell out to Spain Mr Blair they will never forgive you.
Will, Wales

The future of Gibraltar should lay in the hands of Gibraltarians, not be passed around for political benefits. Tony Blair, get it into your head, Gibraltar is British and must remain so.
Chris Hawes, Great Britain

The only people who can decide who governs Gibraltar are the Gibraltarians - anything less is not democracy.
Jim Watt, Gibraltar

As for a British Gibraltar, it's up to my fellow Gibraltarians to decide

William Jardim, Gibraltar
Mr. Blair may think that by selling Gibraltar's sovereignty to Spain, Britain will get the Spaniards to support them in its European ventures. Come on Mr. Blair, Gibraltarians know the Spanish Government's mentality better than you are any member of the Foreign Office can ever dream of. Take heed, Mr. Blair, Spain will abandon Britain's cause the moment they see they can derive more by joining the Franco-German alliance within Europe. As for a British Gibraltar, it's up to my fellow Gibraltarians to decide. Not you Mr. Blair or any other British Government for that matter. That is democracy!
William Jardim, Gibraltar

If Spain gets Gibraltar, shouldn't Morocco get Ceuta and Melilla? Will Mexico now want California back?
Tim Kiser, USA

How about letting the Gibraltarians decide! Easy, ask them all, total them up, whoever gets the most votes wins.
Miles, GB

Gibraltar should stay in British hands, if that is what the population wants. It's not right for the likes of the Government from either Spain or UK to determine, such matters. To settle the matter they should just have a vote, to see who Gibraltar belongs to, and put a rest to the matter.
Daniel Williams, England

The people of Gibraltar should determine who governs Gibraltar. Neither Britain nor Spain should act in any manner without first asking the people who will be most affected.
Damon Wells, USA

Gibraltar belongs to the Gibraltarians - let them decide their future. The demonstration shows where the allegiance lies - if the decision does come to a referendum, I would expect both countries to respect, and fully back the outcome. This could mean Spain being forced to remove its economic and social sanctions - illegal in this "modern democratic" Europe.
Gavin Sacarello, UK Resident

Just a quick not about the demonstration, I am a British Gibraltarian, studying in the UK, It would be nice to note that a number of the population are students studying in the UK, who have been unable to attend the demonstration.. Perhaps the missing people from the demonstration?
Nathan Russell, Wales/Gibraltar

Spain is in direct breech of international law and lacks any support in Gibraltar

John Tate, UK
The British Government's policy on Gibraltar is obsequious and wrong. Rather than force Madrid by all available means to abandon its unfounded claim, the Government has put the future of the territory up for negotiation - believing it to be, as Peter Hain put it, an 'anachronism'. . Spain is in direct breech of international law and lacks any support in Gibraltar. Rewarding Spain for her intransigence would be a betrayal of the loyal Gibraltarian people and of their right to self-determination. We should be proud that the Gibraltarians wish to remain British and not treat them as a colonial anachronism.
John Tate, UK

The UK went to War over the Falklands ostensibly to protect the right of the Falklanders to choose the sovereignty they desired. Why therefore should the Gibraltarians not also have the support of the UK Government for their wishes. Why should this situation be treated any differently? Apart from there being no suspected oil fields off the southern tip of Spain, of course. This brings nothing but shame on the UK government - well more shame anyway.
Andy, UK

Surely it's up to the people of Gibraltar to decide? Whatever their decision, London and Madrid should respect it.
Rhodri Evans, UK

What a great measuring pole of democracy. If we ask the people of Gibraltar and follow their opinion then we can truly call ourselves a democratic country. Let us remember the sacrifices they made to stay part of the UK in WW2.
James Clarke, UK

Spain should NOT have any say in Gibraltarian government. They have abused the basic European human rights of the Gibraltarians for many years. Anyone who has tried to pass into or out Gibraltar will find the process deliberately slowed down by Spanish customs control. Not only that but the frontier is often closed by the Spanish - so much for freedom of movement. Surely the Spanish can't be expected to carry on behaving like this. Things will only get worse should Spain get a foothold on Gibraltarian rule. Spain will not stop until it has full control of Gibraltar.
Adam Baker, UK

Gibraltarians want it to be British, and so Gibraltar must and should remain British

Kenneth McCallum, Great Britain
The foundations of democracy lay in the fact that whoever governs a state should represent the feelings and beliefs of its citizens. Gibraltarians want it to be British, and so Gibraltar must and should remain British.
Kenneth McCallum, Great Britain

I think that the politicians should have the referendum and accept the result completely, whatever the outcome.
Drew, UK

I think it should be up to the residents of Gibraltar. Isn't that what the Falklands war was fought over? The American rebel leader Thomas Jefferson wrote that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed" when we were declaring our independence from Britain in 1776, but it applies just as much when a people want to remain part of Britain.
Peter Nelson, USA

It would seem obvious the people of Gibraltar have already made their decision on whom they should be governed by. Why would the Blair Government waste their time and taxpayers money discussing this issue? The people of Gibraltar have boycotted the talks and have made their position clear. Perhaps Spain and Britain need a lesson in elementary democracy - majority rules!
Andrew, Canada

Presumably if Spain gets Gibraltar back, the Netherlands will be the next country it will demand the return of! This is a ludicrous situation - it is like England wanting vast tracts of France back (actually not a bad idea!) because we'd acquired it thanks to a fortuitous marriage in medieval times; the Italians demanding Britain back because it was once part of the Roman Empire; or the Turks reacquiring Greece and the Balkans because they once came under the Ottoman Empire (bad idea!)! Where will it all end? The only people who should be allowed any say in the matter are the Gibraltans themselves. If they choose to "belong" to Spain, fine. If not, end of the matter - Gibraltar remains British.
Sue Hudson, London, England

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Talking Point
Who should rule Gibraltar?




8805 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

20 May 02 | UK Politics
16 Mar 02 | UK Politics
16 Mar 02 | Europe
15 Mar 02 | Europe
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