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Former UK Minister talks of scuppered Gibraltar deal

Tue 24th Jan 2012
Former UK Minister talks of scuppered Gibraltar deal

Peter Hain, the UK's former Minister to Europe, has written a book which has been published today which describes amongst other things his role in attempting to resolve the Spain-Gibraltar-UK situation.

'Outside In' goes on to describe how almost ten years ago, in 2011, Hain travelled to Gibraltar at the request of the UK's Foreign Office to meet with the Chief Minister on the rock, Peter Caruana. Hain was tasked with finding Caruana's thoughts on how the issue could be resolved and how a relationship could be improved upon between the three parties.

According to Hain, Caruana himself initially proposed a 'co-sovereignty' solution, similar to in practice in Andorra, which after months of negotiations between all parties, led to a final meeting to bring things to a conclusion.

However, the Spanish Government under Jose Maria Aznar scuppered the deal at the last moment.

In Hain's words, Aznar recognised that accepting co-sovereignty effectively meant that Spain was not only handing over a claim for full sovereignty of the rock for good, but that it sent a dangerous precedent for nationalists in other Autonomous Communities of Spain to press for a similar agreement.

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