IN A tongue in cheek but funny retort to the Gibraltar crisis the Daily Mirror journalist, the Fleet Street Fox, gives both barrels to Spain´s jingoistic foreign minister and Spain’s claims to the rock.


“All right, Spain. You’ve asked for this.

You’ve issued one of your five-yearly threats to seize, impound, disrupt, tax or otherwise penalise Gibraltar and its residents on the grounds that this small bit of rock is attached to the bigger bit of rock you call home.

For some, this provides irrefutable proof that Gibraltar is Spanish. Presumably in the same way that China is Russian and Denmark belongs to Germany.

Not letting logic get in his way, your foreign minister has declared ‘the party’s over’ and threatened 100 euro fines for people crossing the border, banning flights from Spanish air space and generally started behaving like Franco in a particularly belligerent mood.

Very well. Let’s look at the facts, shall we?

1. Gibraltar is about as Spanish as pie and chips. The first recorded occupants were Lebanese traders , followed by Germans, Romans, and the Islamic empire. The first castle was built by a Berber sultan and it wasn’t captured by the Spanish until 1462.

2. Twelve years later you sold it.

3. You spent 200 years or so invading much of the world, killing millions of Amerindians with smallpox , and burning and torturing those that survived because they didn’t think eating a thin bit of flour and water was the same thing as eating the body of a man they’d never met .

4. You tried to do the same here, first by marriage and then by invasion . Not the best way to make friends.

5. You did nothing very much with Gib for two centuries and then lost it in a fight with us and the Dutch. The fight was about whether a French prince could succeed to the Spanish crown and thus rule half of Europe. Most of Europe didn’t like the idea, and you were invaded by pretty much everyone up to and including the Holy Roman Empire.

6. Unsurprisingly, you lost. We all signed the Treaty of Utrecht in which the French prince was allowed to have Spain so long as he promised to be nice and sign away a few things. Article X states: “The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications and forts hereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever.”

7. There’s not a lot of wriggle-room in that. Lawyers, eh?

8. What you gave us in 1714 was a 300-year-old Moorish castle, a medieval town and a fishing port. In the years since we have turned it into a naval base, a financial centre, tourist destination and online gaming base which turns over £650million a year and provides employment for 10,000 of your citizens. You’re welcome.

9. The last person who seriously laid claim to it is the fascist dictator you’d rather forget, and there were referendums in 1967 and 2002 which found 99% of the population wanted to remain British.

10. In 500 years of warring you’ve lost far more often than you’ve won and you have, most noticeably, consistently failed to win against us. You tried to seize Gibraltar by force twice in the 18th century and failed miserably on each attempt, since we smashed your Armada in 1588 it’s never been the same since. Today you’ve got 21,000 sailors and 54 ships, and we’ve got 53,000 with reserves, 97 ships, 61 Royal Marine craft and 170 vessels in the Fleet Air Arm.

Considering all this, it is entirely understandable that with your economy on its arse , suicides endemic following eviction and a government not so much beleaguered as halfway to hell and still digging you might feel the need to hark back to the days of empire and rattle the old sabre a bit.

You are though on rather shaky ground, not just because you signed a contract and the 30,000 Gibraltarians want you in charge of them about as much as they want to contract the ebola virus.

Firstly you claim ownership of a number of bits of rock that are not attached to your main bit of rock – the Balearics, the Canaries, two cities in north Africa and a number of islets which, to an unbiased eye, look very Moroccan .

Secondly your suggestion of border taxes would mainly penalise the 10,000 Spaniards who work in Gibraltar and, er, vote for you. It’s very unlikely to happen, as is your idea of banning planes from your airspace.

Plane companies can get around this very easily and you would soon find that Spanish airports were avoided by British tourist planes and losing millions in revenue.

Seeing as you’re broke, this just isn’t going to happen.

Gibraltar is a place you barely bothered to occupy, sold for cash, lost in wars, and now are trying to grab purely because it’s the only financially successful thing within a 50-mile radius of your border.

Its people are ethnically a mix of Genoese, Portugese, Maltese and Spanish descent and legally they are citizens of the United Kingdom with an MP in the House of Commons and an MEP in the European Parliament.

Our economy’s not brilliant but it’s still doing better than yours, as is what is left of our overseas empire which despite its rotten parts also exported the Magna Carta, democracy and the ability to make a decent cuppa.

You exported the Inquisition and the Molotov cocktail . Thanks for those.

But let’s not be antagonistic – we’ve had centuries of Anglo-Spanish fighting and we should be past that now.

You’ve also given us sangria, sherry, tapas and marzipan, and you do amazing things with ham. We holiday with you, and you need our money.

So just be honest, and admit that this has all come about because you wanted to divert attention from problems at home and your traditionally-antsy fishermen have got upset about an artificial reef built to stop them raiding Gibraltarian waters .

Then perhaps you could tell them to stop nicking our fish in the first place, whether it’s off Gibraltar, in the English Channel, the North Sea or the Irish Sea, and make sure they pay the fines our courts have levied for breaking the rules .

After you’ve done that you can apologise properly for 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition, promise to think before you speak and personally I’d be glad if you could tell everyone there’s no need for peas in paella.

You don’t have to, of course. You could carry on acting like idiots and we’ll carry on ignoring you because you’ve got all the threat and military might of a field mouse squeaking at a cat.

Or you could be glad that the bit of rock next to yours is well-run, productive, and law-abiding and that the people who live on it have a right to determine their own futures which they would rather was not closely linked to yours.

That’s something you’ve not really achieved with your own bit of rock, so you’ll forgive us for thinking you shouldn’t be entrusted with any more.

And in case that’s still not clear: Naff off, Juan.”

52 COMMENTS

  1. Leading journalist I bow before you as a British Gibraltarian for what you have written; I honestly think that’s it’s about time that the world got to know the harassment that we, tourists and even Spanish workers coming into Gib have to put up with……so for all the babies, pensioners, workers and everybody who has suffered the the intolerable heat whilst having to wait for hours on end at the frontier queue……… I THANK YOU……..and would like this post of yours to go round the world so that everybody can get to the truth of the situation and can judge for themselves just what kind of neighbours from hell we really have….

  2. The article is nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to obfuscate the inconvenient fact that the UN continues to list Gibraltar as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK. The author’s list of irrelevant, exaggerated, and inaccurate claims about Spain also highlight the author’s rank hypocrisy. Why not mention that as recently as the early 1900’s the British were hunting the Australian Aborigines for sport? Is this just another inconvenient fact for the author. The author would be better served by getting of his ‘high horse’ and sticking to the issues at hand.

    Gibraltar’s current colonial situation is complicated by three factors. First, although Britain seized Gibraltar in 1704 during the Spanish Wars of Succession and it was awarded in perpetuity to Britain under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, Spain has always maintained its claim to the restoration of its sovereignty over the territory; it is therefore a contested territory and the UN has been constrained to take this into account when considering the decolonization process.

    Unlike Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla are not considered to be colonial enclaves by the UN. They pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed. In contrast Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was part of the Kingdom of Spain.

    Second, the Treaty contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Third, the isthmus that joins the town and the Rock of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula, and on which the airport has been constructed, is not covered by the Treaty of Utrecht and its sovereignty is therefore the subject of a separate dispute between Britain and Spain.

    The UN Special Committee on Decolonization reiterated as recently as June 2012 that ending the ‘special and particular’ colonial situation relating to the British colony of Gibraltar required a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the SOVEREIGNTY dispute between the UK and the Kingdom of Spain. The term ‘special and particular’ colonial situation refers to the fact that the current occupants of Gibraltar are not a subject or subdued population by a colonial power, which would otherwise have a right to self-determination, but a population transplanted by the UK colonising power which has no such right under international law.

    This exception to the right of self-determination has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice as recently as 2004 when it ruled that ‘…under the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention … an Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. … Such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention and are in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

  3. The article is nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to obfuscate the inconvenient fact that the UN continues to list Gibraltar as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK. The author’s list of irrelevant, exaggerated, and inaccurate claims about Spain also highlight the author’s rank hypocrisy. Why not mention that as recently as the early 1900’s the British were hunting the Australian Aborigines for sport? Is this just another inconvenient fact for the author? The author would be better served by getting off his ‘high horse’ and sticking to the issues at hand.

    Gibraltar’s current colonial situation is complicated by three factors. First, although Britain seized Gibraltar in 1704 during the Spanish Wars of Succession and it was awarded in perpetuity to Britain under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, Spain has always maintained its claim to the restoration of its sovereignty over the territory; it is therefore a contested territory and the UN has been constrained to take this into account when considering the decolonization process.

    Unlike Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla are not considered to be colonial enclaves by the UN. They pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed. In contrast Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was part of the Kingdom of Spain.

    Second, the Treaty contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Third, the isthmus that joins the town and the Rock of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula, and on which the airport has been constructed, is not covered by the Treaty of Utrecht and its sovereignty is therefore the subject of a separate dispute between Britain and Spain.

    The UN Special Committee on Decolonization reiterated as recently as June 2012 that ending the ‘special and particular’ colonial situation relating to the British colony of Gibraltar required a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the SOVEREIGNTY dispute between the UK and the Kingdom of Spain. The term ‘special and particular’ colonial situation refers to the fact that the current occupants of Gibraltar are not a subject or subdued population by a colonial power, which would otherwise have a right to self-determination, but a population transplanted by the UK colonising power which has no such right under international law.

    This exception to the right of self-determination has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice as recently as 2004 when it ruled that ‘…under the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention … an Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. … Such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention and are in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

  4. Heyyy Far Beyond, long time no see or is it?

    You have forgotten to mention the Chagonians, your favourite people in the world in your self serving interpretation, as usual, of history, or have you? Bye Paco!

    Congratulations to the Olive Press for printing the Fleet Steet Fox truthful, well researched, and even better written article. I know it made the day of many thousands of Gibraltarians and was tweeted, shared in facebook and emailed all over the world.

  5. @ FurtherBeyond

    There may well have been a solution to this problem had the PP continued with the diplomatic friendly approach of the PSOE, instead in the absence of a civil war in Spain they decide to pick another fight over Gibraltar. These problems over Gibraltar always arise when their is either a dictator in power in Spain or his successor the PP. Spain really does have to decide if it wants to be a grown up fully democratic country or continue to live in the past.

  6. SPAIN became “de jure” a unified single country in 1504. She lost Gibraltar in 1704…. 200 years later.
    Britain hs owned Gibraltar “de jure” since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713…. that is for 300 YEARS.
    Gibraltar hjas been BRITISH ….de jure….291 years and de facto 300….FAR LONGER THAN IT WAS EVER SPANISH
    Will someone PLEASE buy Rajoy a calculator!

  7. The people of Gibraltar do not want to be Spanish and Britain does not need Spain.
    Let the Spain join with Argentina and watch the whole world laugh. If you want people to listen then it’s better to have some credibility in the first place, Spain has become the embarrassment of Europe.
    pisos, pisos, compra pisos!!!! IDIOTS.

  8. Peter
    For a few years after the Cordoba agreement there was a genuine sense of conviviality. Gibraltar really started to thrive and the Campo area as well and it didn’t cost Spain a penny. The wealth generated by the Gibraltarian economy contributed to the well being of the Spanish citizens of the surrounding towns such as La Linea.
    The PP has done its utmost to destroy this. I wouldn’t walk the streets of La Linea after dark these days. What a pity.
    Reference the article, I really think you need a British sense of humour to really appreciate it. Expect a few derogatory comments from those who haven’t got one.

  9. FurtherBeyond – Thank you for your informative summary. Colonialism and Imperialism both Spain and England has expired its used by date. The collateral damage done to communities out do the need for colonialism. UK author has forgotten to add about the stolen generation, death by custody, death of cultures and high number of Aboriginals in prisons in Australia. Spain was no better in its imperialism of South American too. Both Spain and England need to find a peaceful solution to the Gilbraltar crisis and end the generations of stupidity over a rock.

  10. @ FurtherBeyond

    You really do come up with some very offensive nonsense.

    The Gibraltarians have occupied their land uninterrupted for over three hundred years. Longer than the USA has been a country and longer than many other countries have existed.

    Your UN quotes are manufactured and outdated, the UN 4th Committee recently passed a resolution that ALL peoples have the right to self-determation even when fascists claim their homeland. To their credit the Spanish voted for the motion – your argie friends were not amused.

    In 2013 the UN C24 said, and I quote:

    The General Assembly, recalling its decision 66/522 of 9 December 2011:

    (a) Urges the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while listening to the interests and aspirations of Gibraltar, to reach, in the spirit of the Brussels Declaration of 27 November 1984, a definitive solution to the question of Gibraltar, in the light of relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and applicable principles, and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations;

    (b) Takes note of the desire of the United Kingdom to continue with the trilateral Forum for Dialogue on Gibraltar;

    (c) Takes note of the desire of Spain to replace the Forum with a new mechanism for local cooperation in the inte
    rest of social well-being and regional economic development, in which the people of the Campo de Gibraltar and Gibraltar are represented.

    ends;

    Its about time the Government of Spain LISTENED to the aspirations of Gibraltar (as they are requested to do) and gave up a claim that has no prospect of ever succeeding and can only bring grief and disappointment to those who pursue and promote it.

  11. Oh, well.

    Like the mosquitos on the costa, just try your hardest to ignore Rajoy and his band of bent thugs. Just swat them away. They’ll give up the fight sooner rather than later.

    And just for the record, I find it incredibly bizarre that the Spanish claim this rock whose name is actually Arabic!!

    Oh, I forgot – most of Spain’s town names, bye-laws, language, culture, customs and even cuisine – isn’t their’s at all!! They grabbed it all from the Arabs!!

    Clearly creativity and originality ain’t their strong point.

  12. Sydneychick, and Germany, and France, and Italy, and all the Old World civilizations who thought they could divide the world between themselves. It is history. Let us learn from it.

    Let’s get to the here and now. The present. Everything else is an anathema to true democracy.

    300 years ago Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain, in Perpetuity. Over 300 years generations of Gibraltarians has been born and have died in this our blessed land. It belongs to the British Gibraltarians. There is nothing else to talk about other than peaceful co existence with the hinterland. Gibraltar has always been willing. Spain has not.

  13. INthename Gilbraltar does not belong to Great Britain. Great Britain despite occupying Honk Kong since 1842 were forced to transfer back its sovereignty to China. Great Britain’s much like the old world’s imperialism is over.

  14. It seems this newspaper does not change a bit for two years. That,s what i call a “britsh article” all their facts, well compiled and no other point of view or self criticism.Let them play the collective amnesia.

  15. Hey IntheWall since you raised the issue of the Chagonians, you should take some time to reflect on the UK’s hypocrisy and double standards on its so called respect for the principle of self-determination. After all British enthusiasm for the principle of self-determination was certainly not a relevant consideration for the UK when they evicted the inhabitants of Diego Garcia, against their wishes in 1971.

    Moreover the Treaty of Utrecht contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered. Both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim. Comments by the UK Foreign Office about self-determination are therefore simply a self-serving attempt to obfuscate inconvenient realities.

  16. Mr Payer it doesn’t matter how long a colony has been occupied. Under international law there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    The UN Special Committee on Decolonization reiterated as recently as June 2012 that ending the ‘special and particular’ colonial situation relating to the British colony of Gibraltar required a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the SOVEREIGNTY dispute between the UK and the Kingdom of Spain. The term ‘special and particular’ colonial situation refers to the fact that the current occupants of Gibraltar are not a subject or subdued population by a colonial power, which would otherwise have a right to self-determination, but a population transplanted by the UK colonising power which has no such right under international law.

    This exception to the right of self-determination has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice as recently as 2004 when it ruled that ‘…under the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention … an Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. … Such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention and are in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

    If you’re interested in the facts on the right of self-determination in international law then you should have a look at the following reference by an eminent British international lawyer, and Cambridge University Professor, as just one authority which nicely sets out the relevant international law principles: James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979) at 377-85.

  17. I completely agree with FurtherBeyond regarding the Chagossians. Every effort should be made to return them to their homeland, and I know they have not had much luck in the courts so far, but I hope the struggle will continue.

    As for territorial claims trumping self determination, that is a load of nonsense. The UN has made it clear that self determination comes before territorial claims, and the ICJ has found that on numerous occasions. It’s abundantly clear that under international law a territorial claim cannot limit the right to self determination. The UN has also not limited the right to self determination for the Gibraltarians specifically. Of course Gibraltar is a “special and particular” as far as NSGTs go, because there is a territorial claim over it which needs to be resolved or withdrawn for the decolonisation process to complete. The irony is that the only reason Gibraltar remains on the list of NSGTs is because Spain blocks its removal (yet complains at the same time that Gibraltar is still there)…

  18. Sidneychick/Further Beyond.
    you would’nt be American/Canadian/Australian or New Zealanders by any chance?

    If you are any of these transplanted Europeans then you need to go back to where you came from.

    All these lands had large populations that the white Europeans did their best to exterminate, whereas Gibralter had no indigenous population at all – what part of this don’t you understand.

    So why don’t you two have a go at all these stolen lands – go on have a good rant against these truly nasty colonials.

    The present Gibraltarians did’nt mass murder to occupy their land unlike the Spanish who did just this in the Canaries as well as in Central and South America.

    It’s strange that Mr verbal b/s aka Further Beyond does’nt mwention any of this factual info – he just bores us to death with intermidable verbal poo.

  19. Stuart Crawford – the Brits did murder natives to conquer Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Australia etc. Yes I am Australian and know more about colonization and the collateral damage it does to native people.

    Further Beyond has presented an intelligent and informative summary where as the Daily Mirror journalist, the Fleet Street Fox, and yourself have presented a whinging uninformed rant on the “Spaniards”. To say the Brits did not murder to conquer Gibraltar is just white wash.

    Could you image if the Aboriginals of Australia, Argentinians, Spaniards, Chinese decided to colonize the UK today? Image a fleet of ships landing in the UK and placing their flags on Great Britain? How bloody ridiculous the scene would be? The same could be said about the Brits who ruled by fear and terminated civilizations that were 1000’s of years old when they placed their flags on other lands that they were never native too.

    No body wants to see a war over the Gibraltar and I hope for all there is a peaceful resolution to this crisis.

  20. SydneyChick
    The days of colonialism is indeed over as is indeed the handing over of territories with out taking into account the wishes of those who actually live there. Gibraltarians have resided on the Rock for over 300 years, longer, indeed, than Australia has been a nation. Bet you are proud of being Australian, well so are Gibraltarians proud of who they are. Gibraltar is completely self governing in every respect except defence. It is not a colony as you envisage.
    Don’t you think in this day and age that the old colonialism is over it is up to the Gibraltarians to decide?

  21. Mr Crawford you’re the one that is ignoring the facts. The current occupants of Gibraltar are not a population indigenous to Gibraltar, but were settled there by the UK after displacing the Spanish population that previously existed there (after the capture of Gibraltar by Anglo-Dutch troops, only 70 out of the original 5,000 Spanish inhabitants remained in Gibraltar).

    Unlike the other territories you have mentioned which are INDEPENDENT nation States, Gibraltar continues to be listed by the UN as a territory which the UK still needs to decolonise.

    As previously stated under international law there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in COLONIAL ENCLAVES where a PRE-COLONIAL claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar but not with the other territories you have mentioned.

    As a PRESENT DAY coloniser, the U.K. cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the colonised territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    Under the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention … an Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. … Such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention and are in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

  22. Mr Robert Gibraltar is ‘a special and particular case’ for three reasons. First, although Britain seized Gibraltar in 1704 during the Spanish Wars of Succession and it was awarded in perpetuity to Britain under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, Spain has always maintained its claim to the restoration of its sovereignty over the territory; it is therefore a contested territory and the UN has been constrained to take this into account when considering the decolonization process.

    Second, the Treaty contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Third, the isthmus that joins the town and the Rock of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula, and on which the airport has been constructed, is not covered by the Treaty of Utrecht and its sovereignty is therefore the subject of a separate dispute between Britain and Spain.

    While you are correct that the principle of self-determination of peoples will normally trump territorial claims. There is an exemption that is recognised in international law. The UN Special Committee on Decolonization reiterated as recently as June 2012 that ending the ‘special and particular’ colonial situation relating to the British colony of Gibraltar required a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the SOVEREIGNTY dispute between the UK and the Kingdom of Spain. The term ‘special and particular’ colonial situation refers to the fact that the current occupants of Gibraltar are not a subject or subdued population by a colonial power, which would otherwise have a right to self-determination, but a population transplanted by the UK colonising power which has no such right under international law.

    This exception to the right of self-determination has been confirmed by the International Court of Justice as recently as 2004 when it ruled that ‘…under the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention … an Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. … Such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention and are in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

  23. El Fifi – No I don’t agree with you at all. If we all acted like pirates and conquerors then we would have no law and order in the world.

    What is to stop another race from conquering the Gibraltar since there is no defense or respect for international law and order? There has been a treaty in place for hundreds of years and you have all known the rules from the beginning. What makes you think that you can change the rules of law half way through an agreement?

    I don’t support imperialism and I don’t support the UK’s take on the Gibraltar.

    How is it that the Gibraltarians are not loyal to the UK’s tax system? I don’t support the tax haven system of the Gibraltar.

    I believe in the best interest of the Gibraltarians a peaceful solution to this crisis is the best solution. I do not believe that the UN would support the Gibraltarian cause or receive sympathy votes from the rest of the world.

  24. Quae non exaudiet vocem populi recusat veritatem.

    Let us see him wriggle out of this one! Morocco is listening.

    The Battle over Ceuta, Spain’s African Gibraltar
    “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/10235205/The-battle-over-Ceuta-Spains-African-Gibraltar.html”

  25. Further Beyond
    Your reference to the Geneva Convention applies to modern day conflicts not to ones which occurred over 300 years ago.
    Why would Gibraltarians not qualify for self determination? First of all they were not transplanted as we are made up of peoples who voluntarily immigrated seeking a better life. Secondly, surely we are made up of flesh and blood like everybody else and therefore deserve the right to choose.

  26. Sidneychick,
    I thought it was obvious you were a colonial, unless you are indigenous then you are living illegally in a country that set out to exterminate as many of the legitimate inhabitants as possible – so when are you going to go back home?

    Also you are wrong about the Falklands – had no indigenous population and neither did Gibralter. The first settled population in Gibralter was Arab – that’s how Gibralter got it’s name.

    When you refer to ‘Argentinians’ you are of course referring to the indigenous peoples of that country – are’nt you? Don’t forget that upto the 1870s when the Spanish/Italian invaders went of hunting it was to hunt down and kill these indigenous peoples, not other lifeforms.

    As to the UK and indeed the whole of western Europe – it has been colonised by Aryans from the Steppes – so why should’nt the indigenous peoples – the Euskadi/Celts and Catalansdemand all of them go home?

    The fabulous civilization that was Al-Andaluz was destroyed region by region by Aryan invaders – Goths/Visgoths/Vandals and Swabians who control Spain today – should’nt these Aryans go back home to the Steppes as well.

    So often I see the brainwashing inflicted on Europe’s children by the descendants of these Aryan invaders of Europe which seeks to airbrush the Euskadi/Celts and Catala ns out of the picture.

    It’s so easy to see the effects of this brainwashing on these posts – I suggest that those effected de-programme themselves and spend time researching historical facts. When they have done this they will realise that the ”Spanish’ have absolutely no claim on Gibralter at all – same goes for the Spanish/Italian ‘Argentinians’ trying to claim the Falklands.

    The people of Gibralter and the Falklands do not want to be part of either totally corrupt country – self determination trumps any spurious legal b/s – was’nt it Sheakspeare who said – kill all the laywers.

  27. SydneyChick
    1. Your views are rather dated. Nobody goes around colonising by force nowadays although it was standard practice centuries ago.
    2.There is indeed a 300 years old treaty which handed over Gibraltar in perpetuity but mankind has moved on since then
    and perceptions and attitude change.
    3. Being small with no natural resources, Gibraltar has to earn a living. Being on the financial regulation white list scuppers your tax haven argument. This is even acknowledged by the USA, a country with which we have signed an exchange of financial information agreement.
    4. The original western settlers of Australia were thousands of prisoners and their guards. To take your reasoning to a logical conclusion, the present Australians should hand over all their powers to the indigenous Aborigine population.
    I take it you are a Republican. Now, Australia has voted to retain the queen as your head of state albeit with practically no powers. Many Australians do not like this but they have to accept the outcome of the last democratically run referendum.
    Gibraltar has overwhelmingly voted to retain their links with Britain on a number of occasions. As a democratic, imperialist hating person don’t you think this should be respected?

  28. Stuart Crawford – The aboriginals lived in Australia millions of years before the first fleet arrived – Where are they suppose to go home to?

    Peter – the British are very well know for displacing communities at large and leaving collateral damage. The Queen of England had tea with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Tamil who mass murdered 100 thousands of Sinhalese (The roots of the modern conflict of Sri lanka lie in the British colonial rule when the country was known as Ceylon.The Brits empowered the Tamils on the native Sri lankan Sinhalese and turned their backs on the natives when they were mass murdered by the tribe they empowered) at the CHOGM 2011. I don’t talk garbage.

    El Fifi – There is a treaty in place – don’t you think that needs to be respected? Spain does have a legal claim to the Gibraltar. Isn’t the latest crisis about the UK and the Gilbratarians wanting to take the Gibraltar by force and not via the UN or compensating Spain’s legal claim?

    Yes I am a Republican and proud of it.

  29. El Fifi you should look beyond British propaganda in determining the facts. You’re wrong when you assert that ‘Nobody goes around colonising by force nowadays although it was standard practice centuries ago’. Israel is currently colonising Palestine by establishing and expanding settlements in occupied Palestine. Israel argues that its transplanted populations have a democratic right to determine the nationality of the land that they occupy. However, the International Court of Justice has ruled in an advisory opinion ruled that ‘…Israel has conducted a policy and developed practices involving the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention which provides: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The Security Council has taken the view that such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention. The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

    The same law applies to Gibraltar because it is considered by the UN to be a present day colony of the UK, Unlike Gibraltar, Australia is recognised by the UN as an independent nation State that has no occupying power.

    The British colony of Gibraltar is ‘a special and particular case’ as far as the UN is concerned for four reasons. First, although Britain seized Gibraltar in 1704 during the Spanish Wars of Succession and it was awarded in perpetuity to Britain under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, Spain has always maintained its claim to the restoration of its sovereignty over the territory; it is therefore a contested territory and the UN has been constrained to take this into account when considering the decolonization process.

    Second, the Treaty contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Third even if Spain were to remove its claim, the constitutional status of Gibraltar does not meet the standard UN criteria for delisting (either through independence or free association or integration with the former administering power, with the latter having no reserve powers to legislate). The issue of reserve powers is the key sticking point here.

    This is because the British Governor of Gibraltar continues to exercise power as an administering authority. Gibraltar’s argument that the UN misunderstands the role of the Governor, who acts on behalf of the Queen as Queen of Gibraltar, not on her behalf as Queen of the United Kingdom or on behalf of the UK Government, is not surprisingly, not seen as persuasive by the UN.

    Fourth, the isthmus that joins the town and the Rock of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula, and on which the airport has been constructed, is not covered by the Treaty of Utrecht and its sovereignty is therefore the subject of a separate dispute between Britain and Spain.

  30. SydneyChick
    Where have got the idea Britain that Britain is trying to take over Gibraltar by force? The population has lived and continues to live harmoniously. You will not get a place more tolerant than the Rock where people of all creeds and races live and work together peacefully. So much so that it is attracting many from around the world including a number of Australians.
    Spain signed a treaty 300 years ago accepting British sovereignty in perpetuity. What claim does Spain have?
    Spain wants to go back on what she signed and is applying the greatest possible pressure on innocent civilians many of whom are Spaniards working on the Rock.
    Have you read up on the crisis affecting Spain. Unemployment
    26 per cent, corruption allegations against the king’s daughter, her husband, the country’s prime minister and his deputy etc. It’s current government has embarked on a campaign against Gibraltar to deviate the focus of attention from their many grave problems and seems to be succeeding with readers like you.
    When the previous PSOE government was in power the Cordoba agreement was signed between the British, Spanish and Gibraltarian governments encouraging discussion and cooperation. For a number of years this led to development and progress not just for the Gibraltarians but for all the surrounding area. The present Spanish government wants to rescind this agreement.
    Now tell me, what connections have you got with Spain for you feel so passionate about the subject?

  31. FurtherBeyond
    Your constant and repeated references with a distinct lack of humanism suggests to me that you are a Spanish civil servant whose job is to put forward the Spanish case using any English forum. Therefore it does not surprise me if you do not mention the Cordoba Agreement as it is a pact based on cooperation and not confrontation leaving aside the sovereignty dispute and attempting to work together for the benefit of everybody living in the area.

  32. El Fifi – all true about Spain and its corruption it’s a bloody disgrace. Today, Spain is paying a very high price for their corruption.

    The facts being published about the treaty of Utrecht and Gibraltar are incorrect and very much bias like your comments.

    Independence is not an option for Gibraltar under the treaty.
    The Treaty gives Spain ‘first refusal’ in the event that the UK no longer wishes to have sovereignty – so independence is not an option; they are and will be British and there are only two ways to change that – either they’re given to Spain against their will, or Spain declines their ‘first refusal’ option and agrees to give them independence; the first option would be intolerable to the Gibraltarians and the second is very unlikely.

    Why haven’t the Gibraltarians gone to the UN for independents? What I am reading is that the Gibraltarians and some Brits want to take the rock by force?

    As much as I condemn Spain for harassing the Gibaltarians; well the Brits were the teachers and set the historical examples – Look what they have done to the Aboriginals of Australian and Sinhalese of Sri lanka. It’s a bloody disgrace.

    British MP’s and other Brit leaders telling others not to come to Spain – seriously – don’t come to Australia because it is a bloody disgrace the collateral damage done to the Aboriginals of Australia.

  33. SydneyChick
    First of all, good morning. Who said we want to be independent? We are satisfied with our current level of self governance.
    Britain does not want to relinquish sovereignty and we are very happy with that.
    What do you mean the “Gibraltarians and some Brits want to take the rock by force”? That was achieved over 300 years ago!
    You don’t seem to like the Brits and their methods were indeed dubious but they did lay the foundation of what Australia is today. You must remember that it is wrong to use hindsight in judging history as our way of doing things has changed over the years.
    Aborigines were the original inhabitants of Australia. How come they have so little say in governing their country?
    By the way, you still haven’t answered my question as to why you are so passionate about this subject, leaning so obviously towards the Spanish point of view.

  34. P.S. SydneyChick
    I do not apologise for being biased. I am Gibraltarian and for many years I have experienced Spanish harassment including 16 years spent behind a closed frontier very much like the Berlin Wall. But there you go ,that’s what you get living next to the dictator General Franco, one of Hitler’s closest allies.
    I thought Spain had changed for the better when he died but unfortunately many fascists are still in government wearing collars and ties instead of their uniforms.
    Darling, your comments are rather naïve!

  35. El Fifi

    The Geneva Convention applies to any existing sovereignty dispute. Spain has always maintained its claim to the restoration of its sovereignty over the territory; it is therefore currently a contested territory and the UN has been constrained to take this into account when considering the decolonization process.

    It doesn’t matter how long Gibraltar has been a colony of the UK. The critical issue is the fact that it’s still a colony now.

    The right to self-determination does not apply to transplanted populations illegally occupying another nation’s territory. A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

  36. The Geneva Convention? What are you on? Has war been declared or broken out? I don’t think so…

    Just because Spain has maintained a claim for a very long time doesn’t make that claim valid.

    Gibraltar is still on the UN list of NSGTs because and only because Spain keeps it there. Every time Gibraltar, and they have been asking since the late 1960s, requests their removal from the list and therefore decolonisation, Spain blocks the process.

    The right to self determination is universal, and has not been limited for the Gibraltarians or for anyone else for that matter. Stop re-spouting the tired old Spanish governement nonsense about transplanted populations etc, because there is zero basis for what you assert. Gibratar is not Spanish territory, it was ceded away, remember, so it is not disrupting Spanish territorial integrity. That would be a contradiction in terms. If the right to self determination is not an interest of the Gibraltarians or any other people or population, then I don’t know what is!

  37. Iestyn ap Robert

    You obviously have an unrealistic view of Spain’s influence in the UN. Gibraltar is currently on its list of NSGTs not ‘because Spain keeps it there’, as you wrongly assert, rather according to the UN Gibraltar cannot be de-listed for the following more cogent reasons:

    First, although Britain seized Gibraltar in 1704 during the Spanish Wars of Succession and it was awarded in perpetuity to Britain under Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht signed in 1713, Spain has always maintained its claim to the restoration of its sovereignty over the territory; it is therefore a contested territory and the UN has been constrained to take this into account when considering the decolonization process.

    Second, the Treaty contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Third even if Spain were to remove its claim, the constitutional status of Gibraltar does not meet the standard UN criteria for de-listing (either through independence or free association or integration with the former administering power, with the latter having no reserve powers to legislate). The issue of reserve powers is the key sticking point here.

    This is because the British Governor of Gibraltar continues to exercise power as an administering authority. Gibraltar’s argument that the UN misunderstands the role of the Governor, who acts on behalf of the Queen as Queen of Gibraltar, not on her behalf as Queen of the United Kingdom or on behalf of the UK Government, is not surprisingly, not seen as persuasive by the UN.

    Fourth, the isthmus that joins the town and the Rock of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula, and on which the airport has been constructed, is not covered by the Treaty of Utrecht and its sovereignty is therefore the subject of a separate dispute between Britain and Spain.

  38. Yes, FurtherBeyond, those are some of the reasons Spain gives when it asks the C24 to block Gibraltar’s decolonisation. None of them are valid of course, and the C24 does not have a remit to consider sovereignty disputes, but with her allies on the C24 Spain manages to block any proposed resolution going forward to the General Assembly to decolonise Gibraltar. This has been going on since the late 1960s.

  39. FurtherBeyond, whoever you are, stop showing-off your “vast” knowledge of International Law and be logical. The UN is a farce , and I hardly need to go into details. Everybody knows what goes on there ! Do you think for a minute that I, a Gibraltarian, am going to pay any attention to what this people, who care two hoots about us and do not even know were Gibraltar is or who we are, decide what my future is going to be ? You cannot start quoting rules and laws which I am sure did not even exist in 1704 to tell us that we do not belong here ! That after 300 odd years, when all the people involved in that period of history are long dead, we have no rights ! WE are human beings, with every right to live as a free people, and you better think of that. Life is too short to be lived in constant war and having to put up with the likes of individuals like you, who have nothing better to do than to think they have the right to decide in what way the rest of humanity must live. Wake up man, one day you will have to confront your maker and give an account of how you behaved towards your fellow human beings, and if your intention in showering us with your pearls of wisdom is none other than to show-off how much you know with no reference whatever to feelings of understanding , charity etc., then I feel very sorry for you.

  40. Anti Seacock
    I can see this was written from the heart. Don’t get wound up by Further Beyond. He constantly serves up this diatribe reflecting official Spanish policy. Rarely does he mention Gibraltarians simply because it is easier to argue about a ‘piece of rock’ if you ignore the people who have developed and progressed in a way of their choosing.
    We originally came from different races, creed and backgrounds but over 300 years (longer than the Americans) we have united, developed and matured as a people.
    I am convinced Further Beyond is employed by the Spanish government to troll British speaking web sites to write about their inhuman attitude towards the Gibraltar issue.

  41. I want to say upfront I am Spanish, but I will try to give my views in an unbiased way, as far as I know.

    1.- Gibraltar is under British sovereignty. That is not disputable. One might dispute the validity of the Treaty of Utretch and it would be quite stupid, as it is quite crystal clear.
    2.- The Treaty of Utrecht is quite clear on its terms. It defines for how long the land is ceded (perpetuity) and the land zones it specifically includes. There is some dispute that Gibraltar has no territorial waters because they are not mentioned in a otherwise very specific and detailed geographic description of lands ceded by virtue of the Treaty. I think that point is quite moot, as that concept was not known at the time and well, I do believe it’s not that strange that Gibraltar should have territorial waters (I don’t know the legal jargón but I think Gib does have a legal right as the concept arose later but it applies to wáter bodies near land).
    3.- The Utrecht treaty is quite clear on its terms for resolution. The territory may be either British OR Spanish if UK relinquishes it. Independence is not an option. We cannot use a Treaty when it favours us and ignore it when it does not, it must be applied in its entirety or else a bunch of Spaniards could land in Portsmouth, found a city there and claim they are part of Spain (perhaps the example is not that good, but surely one can see my point or even give a better example of why this would be absurd). Nobody questions the British right to keep Gibraltar, that is not an issue although it’s clearly a thorn in our side. What we are arguing against es:
    A) Gibraltar is a smuggler’s haven (tobacco), tax haven (more companies tan people there) and bad neighbour. Picardo’s words “Hell will freeze before we take the concrete blocks” is arrogant, vicious and unillateral.
    B) Britain was temporally ceded usage of the isthmus during a Yellow Fever outbreak in 1904 for sanitary reasons. The isthmus was NEVER part of the treaty. They never withdrew; in time, they even built an airport there.

    Those are our main issues. Of course we want Gibraltar back, eventually. UK should wonder why is Gibraltar worth the the souring of UK-Spain relations. For UK, it’s not worth anything. For Spain, it’s a matter of national pride. We lost a war and a chunk of our land (OUR land) was taken for us. Legally, I might add, if being forced to cede a chunk of your land when a pistol is aimed at your head can be considered “legal” but well, I think it is as legal as it goes. But UK has left a piece of rock with no current value and a high cost to British taxpayers to sour relationships with Spain for ages.
    And of course, it is our fault that Gibraltarians do not want to be Spanish. Of course, they have the best of both worlds! It all comes down to a matter of money… if the UK were the poorer country, it would have been returned to us eventually, I am sure.

  42. Let me go on by saying the (in layman terms) differences between Gibraltar and Ceuta and Melilla, as the common Englishman seems to allude to call us hypocrites.

    First of all, Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish and belong to Spain, as much as Seville or Madrid do. They are not a colony, they are not city states, they pay same taxes, same rules, same government, same laws. Gibraltar is a colony, according to UN, and their tax regime and laws are quite different to UK.
    Secondly, Gibraltar was ceded by a Treaty signed after a war we lost. A perfectly legal and civilized treaty signed by all parties. Morocco and Ceuta not only have NEVER been Moroccan, there is absolutely no reason for them to be Moroccan other than “part of the mainland”. As it is evident, that is not a sufficient claim for itself (Alaska is NOT Canadian, etc.) Moroccan does not have any legal claim, not historical, not documental, not legal. Of course, we had more parts of current-Morocco. We probably took them by force from tuaregs or tribes, and we probably lost them by force. That is the right of conquest, which I believe says more or less that whatever has been conquered by force and held for a long period should stand so. I am not an international lawyer, but I think that is the main reason why USA is not returned to the Indians, or half of Spain to the Arabs, or half of Europe to the Turks… I am sure there is a perfectly legal way to express what I am saying. So, following what I said, Ceuta and Melilla, along with big parts of Africa, were taken in the 16th incorporated to Spanish territory by right of conquest, and NEVER lost again. So why on earth should we give Ceuta and Melilla to a country that has NEVER possesed them in the first way, hold NO LEGAL TITLE to their possession, and has NEVER conquered them?

  43. Please forgive my English and understand that I am not an expert, so perhaps if examined in finer detail my reasonings can be shown to be mistaken in specific places. Please bear with them.
    About Ceuta and Melilla, though, I may understand Morocco’s frustration, but it really is a completely different situation. Besides, I do not understand how some British may use their oversimplified knowledge of Ceuta and Melilla to call us hypocrites. Even ignoring the huge differences, there is a large one some British citizens seem keen of ignoring. The relationship and things in common between UK and Spain cannot be compared to the things in common between Spain and Morocco. We are both allies, Europeans, members of the EU, NATO, democracies, friends… it’s funny how Britishmen seem to ignore all that in order to justify a colony in Europe which nowadays has no sense at all, a thorn in our pride for what was taken from us in very humiliating manner. UN says colonies nowadays have no sense. UK itself has de-colonized a lot of territories. But you seem keen on keeping one in a allied country based on outdated dreams of glory of the British Empire when there is a perfectly legal Treaty that stipulates what you could do at anytime. It’s true that nowadays Gibraltarians do not want to be Spanish. But I don’t think they were asked 50 years ago, not 100, nor 200. But you have a perfectly legal way to solve things once and for all. Gibraltar cannot ever be independent, Gibraltar was ceded in a humiliating way and Gibraltar is a thorn in our side. Why can’t we work towards shared sovereignty for a number of years, with legal benefits for Gibraltarians? They would have doublé nationality, they would lose nothing, and earn the best of both countries for the time being.

  44. And finally, I would like to comment briefly on the author of this article. It’s disgusting, insulting, false, pretentious, and plain nasty.

    Every empire in the world has been built on the lives of the previous inhabitants. EVERY SINGLE ONE. By that, those that have held the largest empire in the world should have the DECENCY to shut their big mouths up.

    One difference I cann0t resist to say in order to give a history lesson. Hernan Cortes took over the Incan empire originally with 50 men. The Incan empire was several million strong. Only a biased stupid or misinformed person can truly believe that the takeover was by strength of arms. The Incan Empire and Aztec Empire were destroyed from within, as they were were the oppresors of many different peoples. The whiteness of the “conquistadores” and their advanced weaponry was taken as a symbol of godhood for some of them, an opportunity for revolution for others. Spain was the first empire to give legal rights to indigenous peoples, and the alleged slaughter was mínimum compared to the arrival of European diseases (for which only an evil bastard could blame us) and internal strife. And another thing, we taught them a religión when they were a very civilized ritual-sacrifice loving culture (the journalist speaks about eating the flesh of Jesús, the Aztecs ate the heart of enemies ripped out from the ribcage, a subtle difference).
    And another difference is that we consorted with the population. We bedded their women and married with them.. the population is mixed in its majority.

    In comparison, let me tell you. How many American Indians remain? How much mixed blood? Let me answer. The Indian Americans were SLAUGHTERED by the lovely British. Even to this day, their population is negligible. And what in Australia? What in so many countries were the original population was extinct?

    How can this journalist be so evilly BLIND? The Brits have conquered, thus they have killed more than any other race in the world. Please spare the moral lessons!

  45. @Igancio

    Utrecht conflicts with the UN Charter, and if you have read the UN Charter you’ll know that the Charter has precedence over any treaty which conflicts with it. The idea that Gibraltar can only be British or Spanish conflicts with the right to self determination which the Gibraltarians have under the UN Charter, so it is self determination which matters. Independence certainly is an option, as are the other three outcomes to decolonisation which the UN has established.

    Gibraltar does not have more companies than people, there are circa 6000 active companies on the register and circa 2000 dormant companies. This can easily be checked with Companies House in Gibraltar. Anyway, as long as everything is done legally, in compliance with Gibraltar and EU laws, then it is completely irrelevant how many companies are registered in Gibraltar.

    There is a problem with cigarette smuggling from Gibraltar. Gibraltar has taken steps to remedy the problem. Spain seemingly does nothing, and the actions at the frontier will not stop smuggling. Ceuta is also a low tax area, and there is smuggling from there too, but we never hear about that. A bit of consistency from Spain would not go amiss.

    The dividing line between the British and Spanish neutral zones was established by posting sentries shortly after 1704. This continued after Utrecht and the line was very well established by 1727 when Spain confirmed Gibraltar as British without entering any objection to where the line was (thus acquiescing in it). In 1783 Spain confirmed this again in Paris. The fence was put up in 1908 by the British authorities specifically to reduce the amount of smuggling. The airport is built on the British neutral ground, and why not? La Linea is on the Spanish neutral ground.

    You’ll never get Gibraltar until you convince the Gibraltarians, the only people who can decide the future of Gibraltar. The actions you have taken over the last 70-odd years, and especially in the last months, are only having the opposite effect, they are less convinced than ever now.

  46. @Ignacio

    When Ceuta was ceded by treaty, in 1668, to the Spanish King (ie King of Castille, Aragon, etc) Spain as a central state did not exist. To suggest that Melilla or Ceuta cannot be Moroccan because Morocco as it is known now did not exist is moot. Spain as it is known now did not exist either. Melilla belonged to a predecessor power to Morocco and was taken manu militari by predecessor power to Spain.

    Now back to Ceuta. It was ceded to Castille by Portugal after a long war between them. Sound familiar? Ceuta is an autonomous Spanish territory, just like Gibraltar is an autonomous British territory. Ceuta is outside the EU Customs Union, so is Gibraltar. Ceuta is outside the EU VAT area, so is Gibraltar. Ceuta is outside the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy, so is Gibraltar. Not so different are they… And the old “colonial” chestnut: Ceuta is not on the UN list of NSGTs because it was never volunteered for that list by Spain. The UK volunteered Gibraltar to that list in 1946. What’s more is that since the late 1960s Gibraltar has been asking to be removed from that list but Spain blocks the process every time. Complaining about Gibraltar being on the list while keeping them there? Bizarre! To suggest that there is a difference because Gibraltar is on the NSGT list and Ceuta is not is disingenuous. Ceuta and Melilla have populations and I firmly believe they should be given the right to decide what happens to those territories. The rest of the plazas de soberania, some of which were taken as late as the mid 19th century, by which time Morocco did exist, should de given back to Morocco. They are nothing more than the last European colonies in Africa, which is a disgrace!

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