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Joint Sovereignty of Gibraltar ?

Mon 23rd Aug 2010

The PSOE's spokesman for foreign affars, José Carracao, yesterday proposed that, in his opinion the best way for the issue surrounding Gibraltar to be resolved, would be for Spain and the UK to share sovereignty for a few decades, as a first step towards Spain ultimately regaining full control of the colony.

Carracao made it clear that he considered it inevitable that the UK would end three hundred years of disputes by relinquishing the sovereignty of Gibraltar in the short term and opted for a "transition phase" whereby the two nations run Gibraltar jointly until full sovereignty could be passed over to Spain.

He went on to state how it would be a significant move to spend a few years working together and sharing sovereignty, and then to "see see what happens after 30, 40, 50 or however many years."

In 2002 a similar agreement in principle on joint sovereignty over Gibraltar between the governments of United Kingdom and Spain was announced, but there was a robust campaign against the proposals by both the Government and people of Gibraltar, culminating in a decisive referendum rejecting the concept. The UK Government now refuses to discuss sovereignty without the consent of the Gibraltarians.

Mr Carracao thinks it is now time to "revisit" this plan, but Nick Clegg, Britain's deputy prime minister, has made it clear that the UK will not negotiate with Spain over the status of Gibraltar without the go-ahead from the people who live there.

Clegg did, however, confirm Britain's intention to continue working in the Tripartite Forum, set up in 2004 with equal participation by the Governments of Gibraltar, Spain and the UK, to safeguard the interests of citizens living on either side of the border.

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