Will Spain demand Gibraltar back as part of a Brexit deal?

As I understand it all 27 EU member countries have to agree to any trade deal with the UK. As you can imagine many see this as an opportunity to screw a deal out of the UK.

One long-running dispute is Spain wanting their territory of Gibraltar back. The Guardian reports:

The EU has put the future of Gibraltar at stake in the coming Brexit negotiations, effectively backing Spain in its centuries-old dispute with the UK over the British overseas territory.

After lobbying from Spanish diplomats, a clause has been inserted in the EU’s draft Brexit negotiating guidelines that appears to allow Spain to exclude Gibraltar from any transitional single market access arrangement or future trade deal with the UK if it is not satisfied with the status of the territory.

This suggests that unless Britain is willing to let its citizens on “the rock” be subject to an inferior economic future than those in the UK, the EU has effectively handed the Spanish government a veto on Britain’s entire future relationship with the bloc.

“The union will stick up for its members, and that means Spain now,” a senior EU official said.

The news is likely to infuriate London, which has insisted that its longstanding refusal to entertain Spain’s ambitions of reclaiming sovereignty over Gibraltar, which was ceded to Britain in 1713, will not be affected by Brexit.

It is frankly bonkers that the UK still has Gibraltar. You could understand if it was an Island but the area is part of the Spanish mainland:

There is one thing in the UKs favour – trade. As The Spectator reports:

A free-trade deal with Britain is certainly in the interests of Spain and Italy, who run a trade surplus with Britain. For Germany, which exports €50 billion more to the UK than Brits buy from Germans, it’s a no-brainer. Cars, chemicals and machinery — these strong export sectors for Germany are all at risk if Britain copies EU tariffs on cars and imposes its own regulation on hazardous chemicals. And French farmers and winemakers will lobby just as hard: they don’t want to see British duties on beaujolais and camembert. More economically significantly, the French government has strong invested interests in the British nuclear and transport sectors, including rail and automotive.

Interesting times indeed.

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  • britbob

    In 1975 the borders in Europe were pretty well defined.

  • Roger

    I certainly could not agree with you.
    Take the UK’s nearest neighbour for example. Until 1999 it did not formally accept its land border with the UK. It was only in 1999 it finally did. I’m not as familiar with the position of Spain vis-a-vis UK’s Gibraltar, I must confess.

  • britbob

    Ireland, Spain and the UK signed . Section III.Inviolability of frontiers.

  • Roger

    There you go then…Proof concrete of my whole point: They were not agreed on the borders. If the Irish view the position as being that they have no land border with the UK, but the British take the view that they do have a land border with Ireland and then the two sides sign a treaty agreeing that frontiers are inviolable…they have agreed very little indeed.

    The freedom this Convention you cite seems to allow is surely visible in the case of Serbia too. As recently as 9 years ago, the United Kingdom and Ireland (both signatories you’ve mentioned) decided that Serbia had new international borders that Serbia hadn’t even agreed to.

    I suspect we could go on and on.

  • britbob

    Like it or not, there is a land border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. In respect of Kosovo, the ICJ was of the opinion that her declaration of independence was not illegal because Serbia had failed in its duty to protect its people (the Kosovans) from genocide. The ICJ made reference to the Convention in its Opinion – The ICJ Kosovo Advisory Opinion explained in para 80 that, ‘the Helsinki Conference on Security and cooperation in Europe of 1 Aug 1975 stipulated that, ‘‘participating states will respect the territorial integrity of the participating states.’’

  • Roger

    Northern Ireland is just a region. It’s the UK that has a border. The country it has a border with has a name too, not just a political system. But you’ve entirely missed my point. This isn’t about me liking or disliking borders. It’s about exploring what the parties to the Final Act you refer to actually agreed to. Which, it seems, was very little.

    I opened up the topic of Serbia as a case in point. You haven’t said anything that contradicts the point that if borders under the Final Act are inviolable, how come Serbia’s wasn’t? The ICJ holding that it’s not illegal for persons to declare independence is not at all the same as the ICJ saying that Serbia’s borders have changed. The UK and Ireland, both Final Act signatories, have made that determination. They’ve determined that in fact, those Serbian borders aren’t so involable after all and changing them doesn’t require Serb consent.

  • britbob

    Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. An international court would use the Helsinki Accord against any land grab/cases ‘unless’ a Kosovo type situation arose.

  • 1729torus

    Don’t forget the benefits the UK derives from letting the US make use of Gibraltar.

  • Marcus Orr

    It has of course nothing to do with colonialism, Gibraltar is simply a piece of territory with an interesting history which happens to belong to UK and in which over 99% of the natives want to remain British. But don’t let facts get in the way of a silly argument.

  • Marcus Orr

    (in the end, the argument to “respect the wishes of people living there” lost out to “the maximum area unionists can hold and guarantee a majority in”).
    Not true, in the 1918 election the 6 counties voted 66% unionist, historic Ulster 9 counties voted 58% unionist. So the maximum area that unionists could have held was of course much bigger than just the 6 counties.

  • Old Mortality

    Is that the best you can do?

  • eamoncorbett

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been there , I have, and I found that Spanish is the most spoken language, the shop owners are mostly Chinese , there are UJs everywhere like Shankill on the 12th and the Governer has a distinctly foreign name , so my impression of the place was that apart from flags I didn’t see a lot of Britishness (whatever that is) about the place , but I did detect a distrust of Spain more than a love affair with some place most of them will never see .

  • Old Mortality

    I don’t think there was much in the way of responsible family planning back in those days and didn’t Ireland experience a famine sometime in the 19th century?

  • grumpy oul man

    Oh im sorry. How would you like me to describe your secterian rant.
    A sign of a closed and ignorant mind!
    A product of instilled hatred and contempt.
    A result of conditioning which makes you look at your nieghbours as less than human.
    A complete lack of understanging of democracy and civilissed norms.
    Pick the one suits you best.
    And remember you asked.

  • Marcus Orr

    Exactly, as I said, it has nothing to do with “colonialism” but rather on respect for the wishes of the native population. It may be that the difficulties posed by leaving the EU may make many of the residents to reconsider their position in the light of economic problems ahead, but Spain’s general heavy-handedness is probably still a block to the Gibraltarians becoming reconciled to the idea of becoming Spanish territory. Either way, AntrimGael’s post (which I was responding to) talking about British “colonialism” in Ireland, Spain and the South Atlantic was just silly and ought to be treated as such.

  • eireanne3

    then Gibraltar has to give up the idea of being in the EU, which 96% gibraltarians support

  • George

    The total unionist vote in the 9 counties of Ulster was 49.8% although I accept there was a Labour Unionist vote of 6.4% and independent unionist vote of 1.9%. Which is 58%. However, you don’t take into account that two of the Cavan constituencies returned Sinn Féin MPs unopposed (not considered in your figure) so those votes would need to be considered and would have been by unionists deciding where the border should be.

  • James Xenophon

    The area is not part of the Spanish mainland – it shares a border with Spain on the Iberian peninsula. It has been British territory for over 300 years and almost the entire population wants to be British. There is simply no argument why it shouldn’t be British. It has been a distinct territory for longer than Belgium.

  • Obelisk

    I suspect Spain aren’t trying to force the UK out immediately, just to cripple the economy of Gibraltar by excluding them from the final deal, as part of a long term strategy to convince the inhabitants their future lies with Spain.

  • Marcus Orr

    By “unionist” I was obviously referring to all unionist designated parties, not a particular party.
    Excepted the point about Cavan, although there were also a total of 8 seats (6 of which were in Cavan, Monaghan & Donegal) in which the unionists did not bother posing a candidate, so some unionists votes went by the wayside as well.
    Give Sinn Féin a very generous extra 20’000 votes for those 2 Cavan seats, and the unionist share in Ulster would have been 56%, not 58%. So, no material change.
    Of course the fact that Monaghan, Donegal and Cavan were overwhelmingly nationalist/republican led to those 3 counties being ceded to the Free State.

  • the keep

    Stealing land no you forfeited it by rebelling. Strange when Ireland broke away from Britain there was still massive immigration fro Ireland still the UK`s fault?

  • grumpy oul man

    Yep have to agree with you on that.
    But will Spain, in Argentina a weak unpopular government used the falklands to jingolise themselves out of trouble and we had the Falklands war.
    Im not saying a shooting would start but with Spain controlling the land borders and some services then a unpopular government might flag wave about Gibraltar and impose some sort of blockade or sanctions.
    Of course Britain’s membership of the EU has up to now made any such action impossible but times are a changing.

  • grumpy oul man

    Now i was unaware of large americian presence there.
    I wonder who Donald would rather deal with.
    And who would the USA have running the place a EU country or Britain.
    I suspect Britain but what do i know about these things.

  • grumpy oul man

    So let me get this straight, the English invade Ireland, take over huge tracks of land, throw a large percentage of the population off the land and it was the natives fault for losing the land by “rebelling” (do you believe the french resistance rebeled against the germans) against the English after the English took the land.
    Got ya, i must say you certainly know how to twist a timeline!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Shortly to be reduced, Roger, to “the United Kingdom of England (including Wales) and Gibralter”, seemingly, if current pressures by the majority voters to “remain” continue to their logical end.

    But as Gib voted 96% to “remain” perhaps the inhabitants will be out waving EU and Spanish flags when Felipe VI leads the Spanish army onto the Rock! So perhaps it will just “the single Kingdom of England (including Wales)”, and probably still boasting the eight “poorest regions in northern Europe……….”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My favourite bit of doublethink here is regarding those Irish “Rebels” who, from 1689, supported their lawful King and constitution against a usurper appointed by a “convention” parliament whose existence was never in any sense constitutionally legal, acting against the majority of people in all three Kingdoms, and whose Whig historians still have the audacity to speak about “Jacobite Rebellions”………….

  • Roger

    It occurred to me that, as colourful as the new name and flag would be….Gib could be annexed to England like Wales was. Another alternative for the Brexiteers to mull over. We would simply be back to the Kingdom of England. An old reliable.

  • Ciaran Caughey

    Ha Ha drivel.Gibraltar is one on the most corrupt places on the planet.It’s flag should be the Skull and Cross bones.I met the police chief’s son when he was at college in London.The stories he told were simply jaw dropping!

  • Mike the First

    And it appears there’s no role for democracy or self-determination in your worldview.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Interesting moral model that if you occupy somewhere for a year you are a disgrace, but if you occupy it for 300 years then that isn’t a problem. I suppose an analogy would be robbing £100 and that being a crime, but robbing £30,000 is OK, I suppose this is the banking model.

  • AntrimGael

    There’s not much democratic about sending gunboats and colonial armies to steal land, plunder natural resources and slaughter indigenous people.

  • AntrimGael

    Your dismissive, colonial reply vindicates everything I said. No doubt 150 years ago my views would have been deemed subversive, disloyal, treasonous and good for a 15 year stretch in Van Diemen’s land?

  • Marcus Orr

    Nah, I’m just a fellow Antrim man, descended from a certain Orr who got hung for his part in the 1798 rebellion. You know, just as I do, that the only reason why NI belongs to the UK is because the majority of local people wish for that. Same with Gibraltar. To shout “colonialist” is just silly name calling, and you know it.
    When the majority in NI votes for a United Ireland, I’ll respect that wish, and happily do my best to fit in and be a decent citizen – not like some who showed support for a terrorist organisation trying to force an Irish imperialist claim on the province against the wishes of the population over many years.
    Well done by the way for supporting the military dictatorship in Argentina in their forced annexation of the Falkland islanders there in ’82 – nice touch.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “We would simply be back to the Kingdom of England.”

    An excellent suggestion, Roger. I wish you luck in your own “independence” from much of the utterly unreliable Celtic fringe, as only Kernow and Cymru would then be remaining under Saxon rule. But with 96% of the inhabitants of the Rock voting “Remain” and only 823 seemingly want to engage with Britian’s separation from Europe, are you really sure that Gib wants to be a part of the “final bastion”?

    In 1967 of the 12,237 eligible voters, all but 44 voted to reject transfer to Spain, but you will forgive me if I suggest that the vote was fifty years ago and the priorities of Gibralterians may have altered , as is seemingly reflected in recent the overwhelming “Remain” vote. Are you so sure that May’s gunboat (always assuming she can find one that is in condition to sail) may not be needed to overawe the Gibralter natives into voting the correct way in the event of any re-run of the 1967 vote to secure a UKGib?

  • Roger

    I’m not one to confuse Brexit views with national sentiment. The colonists will always back the mother ship.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sometimes I feel its a pity you’re not a betting man, Roger, I might just restore my much depleted coffers with a few bets……

  • Fear Éireannach

    The reason why the UK owns NI, or Gibraltar, is that they invaded it and displaced the local population with people favourable to imperial rule. Now there may be a case for two wrongs not making a right and so for democracy being used going forward, but this should not be at the expense of historical fact.

  • Marcus Orr

    And the reason why the US is full of Europeans is because they came and drove red Indians off the land in the 19th century, approx 250 years after the plantations were finished – are you seriously suggesting we should start making sums on what happened in 1607 ?!?
    Let’s see, the history of Ireland: the Vikings came about 900-1000 years ago, raped and killed and stole the land (want to have a word with Iceland & Norway – they should be due to pay hefty reparations)?
    The Anglo-Normans (French) came about 800 years ago and stole the land want to write a letter to Francois Hollande?
    The Scots came 400, 500, 600 years ago, and plantations were made – and you’re only worried about what happened in 1607 ?
    While we’re on about reparations, I’m making my bill (with interest) for the genocide of the planters in 1641-42 by Phelim O’Neill – should be a nice hefty bill, don’t know if I’ll present it to Enda Kenny (as it was catholic Irish gentry who carried it out) or to Elisabeth II, as O’Neill pledged his allegiance to the English King Charles II as he carried out the slaughter.

  • AntrimGael

    I didn’t support Argentina’s military action. I do support their claim on the Malvinas. It’s a bit like China or India occupying the Isle of Wight, ridiculous notion.

  • Marcus Orr

    As always, the locals must decide, and they are very clear on the matter – not for you (thousands of miles away) to dictate who they are or to whom they must belong.

  • Steven Slin

    Gibraltar or not Gibraltar… What about being happy?

  • AntrimGael

    They are colonists and the Malvinas, like Gibraltar, should be sorted out by the UN with Britain given a date by which they must withdraw and the territories handed back to Argentina and Spain.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Do you mean ‘handed back to Spain’? Or indeed handed back to France from whom the Spanish took the islands?

  • AntrimGael

    When the UN is at it give the Channel Islands back to France as well.

  • Marcus Orr

    No, the inhabitants are Falkland islanders, they were born on the island and have lived there all their lives in nearly all cases – why are you so ignorant, does hatred of all things British just blind out everything?
    The Falklands was never even inhabited by the Argentinians, the real open question was between the British and the French and the Spanish – who occupied the empty islands first…British were the first to get a proper garrison in and to properly inhabit the island even though the French and/or Spanish landed on it first…. either way it was never Argentinian – Argentina didn’t even exist as a country until about 1815 !
    Gibraltar was ceded to UK in a treaty signed by Britain and Spain and the other warring nations in 1714. Would be very strange to give it to Spain (unless the inhabitants so wish) – they don’t, like the Falklands they vote 99,5% to remain British – but hey, we all hate those British “colonialists” – so let the UN force Britain out, eh ?

  • AntrimGael

    British colonialism and Victorian land grabbing are the root cause of MOST conflicts and disputes around the globe. Ireland, Israel/Palestine, Africa, Afghanistan, Gibraltar, the Malvinas etc. I don’t hate Britain or British people BUT we are still living with the legacy of their supremacist, colonial campaigns.

  • Marcus Orr

    Nah sorry, this is getting ridiculous. Most conflicts in the world ? Really ? Most of them?
    At least we actually handed all countries under the former Empire their freedom if they asked for it. Not like Russia, nor China, nor France, nor just about any once powerful nations in history.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Do you concede that Argentina has potentially the weakest claims when compared to France, Spain and Britain, all of whom actually controlled it at some point as opposed to Argentina which had a 6-7 attempt at it before being shoed off by the Americans?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Given that it was the owners of the Channel Islands that invaded England that’s an odd thing to say.

    The Duke of Normandy incorporated England into his Kingdom, which included the islands. His (French-speaking) descendants were later chased out of most of his former realm save for the islands.

  • Marcus Orr

    You seem to be forgetting the referendum of November 2002, you don’t have to go back 50 years: 98.97% of Gibraltarians voted no to the question “Do you want joint sovereignty between Spain & UK”, they wanted to remain exclusively British. Still slight increase of the pro Spanish vote from 1967 (99.6% in ’67 against Spanish sovereignty)….

  • Thomas Lewis

    how does that work? Look at the history of Argentina, they had massive expansionism. When it was first formed they were several thousand miles from the Falklands too.
    Not to mention that many of the families on the Falkland Islands have been there since before Argentina was a sovereign nation.

  • Thomas Lewis

    You should probably stop listening to the SNP and listening to the Scottish people. They dont want another referendum, a great many of the SNP supporters themselves want sovereignty from the UK AND the EU.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thomas, can you offer me an authoritative source for your statement “They dont want another referendum” regarding “the Scottish people.” Have you checked this out beyond personal inclination and rumour? My own friends and contacts in Scotland would suggest otherwise, and as is usual in what I post, I seldom rely on what I’m encountering in the media without trying to check this out at grass roots.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My dear fellow, what that disguises is that they could in 2002 rely on access to the EU to articulate their relationship with Spain, and did not require she special relationship with Spain which might have curtailed the manner in which they could use the EU to play the situation. Gib needs Spain far more than it needs the UK for its day to day economic life, as the overwhelming “Remain” vote clearly shows. It is always dangerous to tae any figures in isolation, especially in a situation where things are changing dramatically. With the choice having become a clear either/or rather than the either/and of the earlier vote for British sovereignty, it will be of interest to see if Gib might press to opt for something different when the choice is between a polity that boasts nine of the ten poorest regions of northern Europe or continuing access to its own economic growth within the EU. I know which I’d opt for.

  • Marcus Orr

    Well, as the EU is breaking up anyway in the next 10 years, I wouldn’t put too much stock on that dying Brussels soviet.
    In the French election this May Marine Le Pen will top the poll (she’ll be beaten in the run-off by Macron) but it’s only a matter of time before France implodes.
    Merkel is probably out in September in the German elections too. The ticking time bomb which is the Greek debt is just a matter of time.
    UK made the right decision to make a run for it. Others will follow. Why not the Republic ? I’d happily sign up for a United Ireland if only the South would see sense and leave the Brussels soviet.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    No doubt.
    Alas, it’s how an awful lot of countries came to exist.
    The argument for handing Gibraltar back to the Spanish is not to distant from the argument for handing all of the Americas back to the First Nations/native Americans.
    I understand you don’t like the British or colonialism but that doesn’t mean that everyone on every piece of land touched by the British shares similar views.
    The Romans had it, the Romans lost it.
    The Moors had it, the Moors lost it.
    Spain had it, Spain lost it.
    Britain has it, Britain may lose it.
    Simples.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Funny that; Argentina’s claim on the Falklands is that they were both under the same Empire at one point.
    This argument is used by the Chinese with regards to Tibet (both part of the Mongolian empires).
    Do you support Chinese rule in Tibet?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Would the people who replaced the Falklanders not also be ‘colonists’?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Actually it was the Dutch AND some Spanish along with the British that invaded Gibraltar as part of the Wars of Spanish Succession.
    It wasn’t just that Britain woke up one morning, looked at the map, pointed and said “I want that one”… (Like they did with some other places).

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Bless you Marcus, it’s great gift to be able to see ten years into the future. Are you perhaps the seventh son of a seventh son? But if we are not talking clairvoyance here, I’d really value the source you are using to make the claim that the EU is a “goner” with such absolute certainty. Unless perhaps it’s just an expression of your own pipe dreams?

    Anyone who is familiar with any federal system such as the United States, for example, will be familiar with the stresses and political disagreements which develop over long periods of time in any such system of devolved or divided sovereignties. I doubt that the US will disintegrate any time soon, and also that the EU will somehow fall apart to order just because the UK has played a rather silly hand in opting to potentially re-work its relationship with its largest trading partner to its own disadvantage by withdrawing from something it so clearly needed to remain a full member of.

  • Marcus Orr

    Thank you Seaan, yeah I always fancied myself as a prophet.
    No seriously now, of course I could be wrong about the future, but I can see what is happening on the continent (unemployment 25% in Spain, Portugal, more in Greece, 11% in France, more in Italy, etc., etc. The youth of all these countries is being sucked up by Germany, about the only country doing well economically out of the Euro (exception perhaps Holland & Belgium), but they will not accept for ever this status as German satellites.
    And as for Ireland, well EU was great in the past with various structural funds and subsidies, but is the Republic just a region of the EU Superstate, or is it a real country? I always thought more of ye, I thought ye were a real nation…

  • Marcus Orr

    Excuse me, perhaps you’re not from the South, but sure we’re all Irish anyway, aren’t we?

  • Marcus Orr

    They wouldn’t be “British” colonists though, and that changes everything….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Marcus for a fine answer to my own jibes! None of us know how the next ten years will pan out, and things can alter quickly in a positive manner, in my experience, even great leviathans such as the EU.

    To me the problem is that the liberal/European project has become somewhat stale through its championing by the “faceless EU”, and more broadly by the soundbite politics of Clinton and Blair, but I’d feel that despite this current staleness it is no less of real value in itself to our communities in Europe. I grew up before the UK joined what was then the EEC, but I mix with a lot of people under 40 who take everything which has come about as a base line of their own existence in a broad European community. For such people the old national sovereignties are already a thing of the past. I’ve always differentiated between a strong cultural identity and the manner in which this is politicised in “national identity”, and see nothing inconsistent in an Ireland flourishing in Europe. In its current incarnation Ireland has become a very European country for anyone spending periods there, and may even be temperamentally drawing on that lost late Medieval European identity Ireland once had before the Tudor Conquest which is so ably described by Alice Stopford Green in “The Making of Ireland and its Undoing.” No less a “real nation” for that!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You’re leaving out Austria AG! Rooke was seizing Gib to drive out the King Phillip V, the French candidate for the Spanish crown, in support of the right of the Archduke Charles, son of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I’s claim to the Spanish throne. Spaniards who swore allegiance to “Charles III” could remain on the Rock. It was only amongst the chicanery of the negotiations which withdrew Britain from the war (and earned them the name “Perfidious Albion”) that the Rock was seized politically as being, in the words of Secretary of State Sir Charles Hedges a month after its capture “of great use to us [the English] for securing our trade and interrupting the enemy’s.” Had an open peace been concluded with the Grand Alliance triumphant, it would have been very unlikely that Britain could have retained Gibralter in any honest treaty.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My wife happens to have Cherokee blood, so I know the “right of colonisation argument” is still highly debatable in some quarters, and so cannot be used as a blanket proof of any kind.

    Off the record, the 1641 business is much overplayed in the popular imagination, and the real bill should go to Cromwell’s descendants. Old Noll’s man Venables killed far, far more planters in a few hours at the Battle of Lisnagarvy than were killed in the previous ten years by the Confederates, or by the loose uncontrolled bands of those settling financial scores on the exorbitant loans they had been gulled into taking out by liquidating the lenders from the planter community over the winter months of 1641. But if you are making a reparations claim let me know, my own family losses in Monaghan feature in the depositions! Oh, and Charles I, by the way, the Prince of Wales, the fixture Charles II, was an eleven year old boy at the time and his father was king. If that’s the road you’re taking, the current Jacobite heir Francis II is your man for settling the bill. But any culpability of the Sainted Charles for 1641 has been fully disproved, so you are into some serious litigation in pursuing that one.

  • Marcus Orr

    “But any culpability of the Sainted Charles for 1641 has been fully disproved, so you are into some serious litigation in pursuing that one”
    I know, I was just pulling the other poster’s leg a little, wasn’t being serious. My point to “Irishman” was that it’s no use raking up old disputes from centuries and centuries ago, everyone can do it and it’s not very constructive or conducive to solving anything.

  • Fear Éireannach

    The Sudetenland was ceded to Germany in the Munich Agreement n 1938, you can’t be changing agreements.

  • Marcus Orr

    I don’t understand your point Irishman…..

  • Fear Éireannach

    My point is that not all agreements, made by one party coercing another, are equitable

  • Marcus Orr

    So because presumably Britain was “coercing” Spain back in 1713 (wonder how you worked that out), we should coerce the Gibraltarians back into Spain against their express wishes today ? Is that your point ?

  • Jollyraj

    You do know that the Argentines are effectively the colonial power in their part of the world? If you were consistent in your beliefs you would be crowing that the largely Spanish/Italian descendants that make up the majority population of Argentina are colonial interlopers 🙂

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Thank you Seaan.

    As with most historical things on here we try to digitize them and ignore the myriad of complicating factors that brought us to where we are.

  • Fear Éireannach

    If someone steals my car and gives it to someone else, should they be allowed keep it because it wasn’t they who stole it?

  • Marcus Orr

    Difficult to answer because your analogy is so ill-fitted to what actually happened.
    If you sign an agreement to give a car to someone else, and that person signs to withdraw and cede you also something (as Spain did with UK in 1714) then presumably that contract should be respected.
    If you destroyed many cars belonging to your neighbour (as Spain did to England with the attempted Armada invasion 1588) then your neighbour may very well insist in taking a very small car back from you subsequently. You tried to hurt him in an unprovoked attack, he put you in your place…why cry about it ? England never asked Spain for reparations for the murder and unprovoked aggression of 1588.
    Either way, why on earth are you going on about something that happened over 300 years ago ? Why do you think (even if the greatest injustice on earth over 300 years ago happened – which it didn’t, but anyway) that that gives anyone a reason today to punish the actual real people living there (who have nothing to do with all this) and to decide over their heads (as actual, you know, residents) ?
    Only someone who has an irrational hatred of all things British would even comment on the (non-)issue…ah, well, there you are, eh, am I getting closer to the real issue?

  • grumpy oul man

    Strange that you interpret my post as somehow supporting or approving the actions of the Argentine goverment.
    Again you fail to understand what is in front of you.
    I compared Spains view of Gibralter to Argentina’s view of the Falklands and pointed out that a weak and unpopular government in Argentina used the Falklands as a jingolistic issue to dostract from its problems at home.
    Now how does that in any way seem like i support or agree with them.
    Maybe you should have read it twice.

  • grumpy oul man

    But since the vast majority of the people of Gibraltar wish to be British then they have that right.
    I am not aware of any issue such as cultural conflict or a back to Spain movement.
    So no reason to change things since thier is no desire for change.

  • Fear Éireannach

    If there is a flaw in my argument then point it out, accusing me of “an irrational hatred of all things British” does not refute my argument as you have no evidence of my having any hatred of the British or if I did that it was not rational.

    The Spanish Armada happened, it is over, past and done and not relevant. The British occupation of Gibraltar is not over, so the two are not the same. Should a German who moved to the Sudetenland in 1939 have their wishes respected as Czechoslovakia had ceded this region to Germany? Both the German and the person moving to Gibraltar knew perfectly well that the region had been seized and not freely transferred. Receiving stolen property is a crime, and rightly so.

  • grumpy oul man

    Nothing to do with colonialism, how do think Britain got it and why did they want it.
    Now i believe that the fact that most people in Gibraltar wish to remain British, they have the right to remain British but lets not try to rewrite history.

  • Marcus Orr

    “If there is a flaw in my argument then point it out”

    Er, I did, in my reply. I just found your argument so shockingly weak that I had to conclude other motives, sorry.

    “The British occupation of Gibraltar is not over, so the two are not the same.”

    What was the result of the referendum in 2002 again ? When Britain offered of its own accord joint sovereignty with Spain?

    Oh yes, 99% voted to remain British, that’s right.

    What can Britain do more other than to uphold the rights and wishes of the local indigenous population who were born there and have lived there all their lives ? Ah, but they “received stolen goods” in 1713 ? (your version) Oh, ok…

    “Should a German who moved to the Sudetenland in 1939 have their wishes respected as Czechoslovakia had ceded this region to Germany?”
    Very bad example. The Sudetenland was German. There were huge numbers of native local Germans living all over Eastern Europe and they were even the majority populations in certain regions at that time, the decision at Versailles in 1919 to create out of nothing a new nation “Czechoslavakia” and to draw the borders so amateurishly in penalising the defeated WW1 Germany created the stress situation 20 years later which Hitler exploited at Munich.

  • Marcus Orr

    And my reply was to AntrimGael who said:
    “in 2017 there simply is no role for British colonialism in Ireland, Spain or the South Atlantic. ”
    Emphasis on the 2017 my friend.

  • grumpy oul man

    But their is no appetite among the population of the Falklands for a change in the status quo.
    Regardless of the past and since (to the best of my knowledge) no native population noboby has been displaced, the Democratic wishs of the occupants is all that really matters.

  • AntrimGael

    Not at all. I think many British people are very tolerant, fair minded and decent. Don’t confuse my distaste for colonial supremacism with Britain in the here and now.
    It’s just that Britain was very good, or bad, at colonialism depending on your standpoint and this has left a dreadful legacy around the globe.
    I also dislike the fact that the academic curriculum in Britain teaches NOTHING about the negative effects of Empire just HOW glorious it was.

  • Thomas Lewis

    Certainly. Numerous polls have been taken by different groups with different agendas. And the result has always been the same, less than 50% of the population of Scotland want the division and nastiness of the indyref repeated.
    Google will show you these numerous polls.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    It’s not your distaste for colonialism that i am questioning but rather your confusion between colonialism e.g. south Africa and political legacies (and skullduggery) such as Gibraltar.

    If you read about Gibraltar you’ll see that.

    I agree with your last part. e.g. It’s daft that the Zulu’s are seen as ‘the bad guys’ in the film Zulu

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Forgive me mentioning this, Thomas, but are these not the same people who confirmed majority for “Remain” not so long ago?

    During my career in film I encountered through the advertising industry and PR companies a lot of polling activity and am all too familiar with how much reliance may be any sample group’s opinions. The real sample group is the full electorate. But if it makes you happy…………

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You know me, AG, always another of those Chinese ivory balls inside the one we’re looking at, but spinning the other way…..

  • Jollyraj

    You are aware that the Argentinians are ‘colonists’ too, aren’t you? If you want to square this with your beliefs on NI you should probably be demanding that Argentina gives all of its territory back to the indigenous peoples and that the Argentines themselves bugger off ‘back’ to Spain and Italy. That is the only consistent argument possible for those of the Irish Republican mindset.

  • Raimo Kangasniemi

    Treaties can be renegotiated.

  • Roger

    You’re not saying much there. No-one could possibly disagree.
    Perhaps you’re trying to imply that Spain may sign up to a revised Treaty providing that the UK may grant Gib independence?