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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 09:30 GMT
'Gibraltar not up for discussion'
The Rock of Gibraltar
Mr Caruana says Gibraltar's sovereignty is decided
Spanish premier Jose Marie Aznar should not confuse close relations between his country and the UK with the issue of Gibraltar's sovereignty, the Rock's chief minister said.

Peter Caruana - in London to discuss Gibraltar's future - insisted that last year's referendum had decided the colony would stay British.

What's the point of continuing with dialogue?

Peter Caruana
Mr Caruana called the referendum after Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced that London and Madrid had agreed in principle to shared sovereignty.

"We are delighted that Britain and Spain should get on well together," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"But we don't think that Aznar should expect any pay-off related to Gibraltar and our British sovereignty.

Peter Caruana
The chief minister was in London for talks
"Our position is that, following the referendum on November 7 in which 99% of the people of Gibraltar said they didn't want British sovereignty on Gibraltar shared with Spain, we think that talks in that direction should be put to bed and an alternative way forward found."

War role?

He added: "What's the point of continuing with dialogue in the direction of an agreement based on joint sovereignty which the British Government knows is massively rejected?"

Despite the referendum both the UK and Spanish governments have insisted the vote would not halt discussions on Gibraltar's sovereignty.

Mr Caruana was in London for discussions on Gibraltar's role if there a war with Iraq.


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03 Mar 99 | Politics
08 Nov 02 | Europe
08 Nov 02 | Politics
24 Dec 02 | Politics
27 Nov 02 | Politics
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