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Saturday, 13 July, 2002, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
Rock rattled by sovereignty threat
Gibraltarians protest against shared sovereignty
Gibraltarians are overwhelmingly against a deal

British for nearly three hundred years, Gibraltar loves its tradition.

But the changing of the guard is just about the only change most locals want to see.

The announcement by the British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, that Britain is willing to share sovereignty with Spain has prompted further protests.


God save the Queen, but not the Foreign Office

Protester

Protesters barracked the British governor of Gibraltar, David Durie, a focus of criticism after he was condemned by the local government for interfering in politics.

"God save the Queen", shouted one man in the crowd, "but not the Foreign Office".

Gibraltarians are angry.

The idea of shared sovereignty with Spain is overwhelmingly unpopular here.

Emotions high

The local government, which has boycotted the talks between London and Madrid, may now call a snap referendum to demonstrate the strength of local feeling.

Gibraltarians know that Britain and Spain are still a very long way from any final deal, and it may never happen.

But residents of the Rock fear that their status is being undermined bit by bit.

In a Europe where national borders are less important than they used to be, it may be an emotional argument rather than a rational one.

But they want to remain British.


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13 Jul 02 | Politics
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