What Reward for Gibraltar’s “Loyalty”?

On page 8 of the EU’s draft negotiating guidelines, Gibraltar is mentioned as follows: ‘After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.’

A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said today ‘The PM made clear that, on the subject of Gibraltar, the UK’s position had not changed: the UK would seek the best possible deal for Gibraltar as the UK exits the EU and there would be no negotiation on the sovereignty of Gibraltar without the consent of its people.’ (The Guardian)

In a referendum called by its government in 2002, Gibraltarians voted 99% against the proposal ‘Do you approve of the principle that Britain and Spain should share sovereignty over Gibraltar?’ Their preference for British sovereignty perhaps isn’t best described as “loyalty” to the then Labour British government, as the referendum was called to stymie talks by then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw with his Spanish counterpart, which had led to the beginning of an agreement for joint UK and Spanish sovereignty.

Gibraltarians also voted 96% to Remain in the EU referendum. Their desire to remain within the European Union wasn’t necessarily “loyalty” either, but it was clear endorsement of the benefits of EU membership to this British Overseas Territory.

Gibraltar got into the EU on the coat tails of the UK, as a European territory ‘for whose external relations a Member State is responsible’. Even though it is a separate jurisdiction to the UK and has different exemptions to various aspects of EU membership, Gibraltar’s membership is nonetheless tied to the UK’s and it will leave the EU with the UK.

Gov.uk describes the UK’s relationship with its Overseas Territories in the following terms: ‘The UK has specific constitutional and legal responsibilities for its 14 Overseas Territories and a responsibility to ensure their security and good governance. We’ve set out a partnership approach based on shared values and a right to self-determination.’

The Government of Gibraltar website gives a long description of its political evolution, including efforts at UN level since 1963 to address UK-Spanish conflict over its sovereignty. This description concludes at the aim of modernising Gibraltar’s constitution, ‘so that Gibraltar would remain British but in a non-colonial relationship with Britain’.

There are only 30,000 people living in Gibraltar, so on the face of it, the EU should be in a position to be generous in any settlement, to acknowledge that nearly all of these people voted Remain.

Similarly, the EU already has various arrangements with non-EU micro-states such as Andorra, the Holy See, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino, which have roughly a population of 180,000 between them. It seems likely that Gibraltar could enter into a similar arrangement. Even if the EU wants to take the opportunity to limit the ability of Gibraltar to facilitate off-shore industries and tax avoidance, it is already proceeding with regulation on these lines with the other micro-states with which it deals.

However, there are more important principles at stake here for the European Union and what it represents for its citizens.

To what extent does the EU—as an organisation—value the “loyalty” of the vast majority of Gibraltarians?

Is the EU simply a vehicle for member states—in this case Spain—to pursue their ambitions, or does the EU have its own, post-nationalist, viewpoint on the issue of Gibraltar’s sovereignty?

To what extent will the treatment of Gibraltar represent a signal to other small member states that the EU does or does not value their citizens’ willingness to continue with the European Project?

Similar questions apply to the UK too. It is one thing for the PM to support continued British sovereignty over Gibraltar as long as Gibraltarians want it, but it is another question as to whether the UK values Gibraltar enough to broker them a bespoke deal to remain closer to the EU than the UK, in line with their overwhelming Remain vote.

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  • annalagana

    When she spoke with the Gibraltarian Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, did Arlene Foster, remind him of her position on the NI Brexit result, that it was a UK-wide decision and therefore that Gibraltarian Remoaners (96%) should just lump it?

  • Reader

    Nat O’Connor: …but it is another question as to whether the UK values Gibraltar enough
    to broker them a bespoke deal to remain closer to the EU than the UK, in
    line with their overwhelming Remain vote.

    That was poorly phrased, since 99% is greater than 96%
    Would you prefer to put the matter to a further poll, though, since the SNP and SF want additional polls for Scotland and Northern ireland respectively?
    And what result would you expect for Gibraltar?

  • Reader

    Anna, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it looks like the Gibraltarian remainers have decided, on their own account and with no fuss, to “just lump it”.

  • Conchúr Ó Conghaile

    Gibraltar is one of those daft places that really shouldn’t exist anymore in this day and age. It used to be a coaling station now it’s a tax haven. I think it’s time to give up on it.

  • Karl

    There will be a price exacted from the UK for any arrangement beneficial to Gibraltar and the other ‘special cases’.

    The question is how much political capital are the 60 million people in the UK willing to expend on these cases, the majority of which whom seem happy to take the benefits of being tied umbilically to the UK but not the costs.

    This will be a turning point for Gibraltar. A twist of fortune against them percipitated by either the UK or the EU via the Spanish could see its prime attraction go from finance to monkeys overnight.

  • Nat O’Connor

    True. Purely phrased, as I meant closer to the EU than the UK will be! 😉

  • Nat O’Connor

    The key thing is that Gibraltar is not a part of the UK, and the UK’s declared policy is to support the self-determination of the British Overseas Territories. There is no reason why Gibraltar’s Remain vote should be trumped by the UK’s Leave vote. Gibraltar may be too small to be an EU member-state, but it should be able to avail of the same type of access to the EU that is currently extended to Andorra, San Marino, etc. and/or to be able to join the EEA in its own right, as Liechtenstein (pop. 37k) has done.

  • Angry Mob

    Just to note, no nation joins the EEA in it’s own right they do so through membership of the EU or the EFTA as in Liechtenstein’s case.

  • britbob

    TAX HEAVEN

    Gibraltar can’t exactly let the Ford motor company set up a production line on the Rock and Ceuta & Melilla as well as the Canary Islands have reduced tax rates. You don’t hear the German’s and the French complaining about Liechtenstein being a tax heaven do you?

    Up to the residents to determine how and by whom they are governed by and if the Spanish had a genuine claim to Gibraltar they would be inviting the UK to go to the international courts. Spain’s claim is 99% political and 1% optimism. Gibraltar – Some Relevant International Law: https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_Internationa

  • Reader

    Nat O’Connor: There is no reason why Gibraltar’s Remain vote should be trumped by the UK’s Leave vote.
    I would be interested in the perspective of the Gibraltarian population on that matter. But that border has not always been “soft” in any case.

  • Nat O’Connor

    Gibraltar voices…
    Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper http://chronicle.gi/news/
    Gibraltar Panorama newspaper http://gibraltarpanorama.gi
    Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation http://www.gbc.gi/news

  • Ciarán Doherty

    Similarly, what does Gibraltar get for it’s loyalty to Britain? It’s future completely ignored by the British public and the threat of economic ruin.

  • Ciarán Doherty

    Is it really too small to be an independent member state though?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Whilst Leavers seem to believe “making a fuss” is a multi-billion pound opportunity that Brexit apparently provides.

    I mean whinging the greatest opportunity to get the best possible trade deals from around the world.

    If you are capable of whinging like a baby, you are capable of “negotiating” a free lunch.

    As the rest of the world are just suckers for all that misery.

  • eireanne3

    so why not let the Gibraltarians have a referendum – sometime in the autumn 2018/spring 2019 when the significance of brexit will be clearer for all?
    Surely it’s up to them to decide which they want – remaining in the EU (as 95+% wanted) or the UK (as 95%+ wanted).
    It’s make up your mind time for Gibraltar!!!

  • Mike the First

    Nat, you appear to be operating under the very odd fallacy that loyalty to a country means loyalty to government policy.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Think Gibraltar should be allowed in Schengen and the very important BIC … it would interesting to put those options to them.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sorry, I must interupt, surely a Brit with an opinion like Reader knows more about Gibraltar than their own media do?

  • Nat O’Connor

    Not at all, I have been loyally opposing all sorts of government policies for years.

    I put “loyalty” in quotes to invite consideration of what exactly one is loyal to, if loyalty is the right word at all. Can one be loyal to the EU for example? It is not a state or a federation, even though it has some of the trappings like flag and anthem. Yet, if it wants to capture hearts as well as minds, it needs to take a longer-term view on some issues. Not least, if 96% of people in a micro-state vote Remain this should be recognised and appreciated by those in leadership positions at the EU, not turned into a bargaining chip. That is why I think how the EU treats Gibraltar will have long-term significance for the European Project, not just for the 30,000 Gibraltarians and those living in Spain who work in Gibraltar.

    Likewise, Gibraltarians have unambiguously stated their preference to remain British. The PM has recognised this by reiterating the longstanding policy that Gibraltar’s sovereignty will be a matter for Gibraltarians to vote on. But the 99% vote in 2002 was precisely not loyalty to the Government of the day and their discussions with Madrid (which Peter Hain raises again in today’s Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/06/gibraltar-rejected-deal-status-think-again).

  • nilehenri

    except it is not as clear cut as that. for a start much of what we know as gibraltar wasn’t actually ceded to the english. the airport is built upon spanish territory for example.
    there is a strong argument for the rock’s political status as a colony. internationally countries might have been disposed to turn a blind eye to the situation within the framework of the european union, but post referendum the status quo has changed, therefore (and quite rightly in my opinion) interested parties have returned to examine the current set-up. the conclusion so far is that it is not looking good for gibraltar.

    ARTICLE X

    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 thereunto 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. But that abuses and frauds may be avoided by importing any kind of goods, the Catholic King wills, and takes it to be understood, that the above-named propriety be yielded to Great Britain without any territorial jurisdiction and without any open communication by land with the country round about. Yet whereas the communication by sea with the coast of Spain may not at all times be safe or open, and thereby it may happen that the garrison and other inhabitants of Gibraltar may be brought to great straits; and as it is the intention of the Catholic King, only that fraudulent importations of goods should, as is above said, be hindered by an inland communications. it is therefore provided that in such cases it may be lawful to purchase, for ready money, in the neighbouring territories of Spain, provisions and other things necessary for the use of the garrison, the inhabitants, and the ships which lie in the harbour. But if any goods be found imported by Gibraltar, either by way of barter for purchasing provisions, or under any other pretence, the same shall be confiscated, and complaint being made thereof, those persons who have acted contrary to the faith of this treaty, shall be severely punished. And Her Britannic Majesty, at the request of the Catholic King, does consent and agree, that no leave shall be given under any pretence whatsoever, either to Jews or Moors, to reside or have their dwellings in the said town of Gibraltar; and that no refuge or shelter shall be allowed to any Moorish ships of war in the harbour of the said town, whereby the communication between Spain and Ceuta may be obstructed, or the coasts of Spain be infested by the excursions of the Moors. But whereas treaties of friendship and a liberty and intercourse of commerce are between the British and certain territories situated on the coast of Africa, it is always to be understood, that the British subjects cannot refuse the Moors and their ships entry into the port of Gibraltar purely upon the account of merchandising. Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain does further promise, that the free exercise of their religion shall be indulged to the Roman Catholic inhabitants of the aforesaid town. And in case it shall hereafter seem meet to the Crown of Great Britain to grant , sell or by any means to alienate therefrom the propriety of the said town of Gibraltar, it is hereby agreed and concluded that the preference of having the sale shall always be given to the Crown of Spain before any others.

  • Fear Éireannach

    “without any open communication by land with the country round about”. Can anyone complain about the Spanish upholding this part of the treaty to the letter?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    As long as the little French Consulate remains on the Rock Gibraltar will always get over Schengen. I worked in Gibraltar for a few years and always felt sorry for an Asian Work colleague you could not come with us at the weekends while we were partying up at Paerto Banus – Marbella ! I said bugger this we are going to have to get this sorted so I was having a few beers in Casements Square with an old time Lawyer from Newry and told him about the situation with our Chinese mate. He sent us straight down to the little French Consulate who had a small 1st floor office in main street and they duly stamped his passport with a 6 month travel visa across europe for a few quid ! It brought a smile on my face when the Spainish Immigration Officers at the border first opened up John’s passport and seen the visa stamp (how the F did he do that ?) They had to let him pass to go partying with us bad boys from Belfast ! Del Boy Rules Forever !

  • T.E.Lawrence

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d48356a10ae1ee5c4f4ae29be562b4db021682f2fb8ab6d7fad2f76771700d9.jpg And then this man came along (Lord Nelson) at the Battle of Trafalgar !

  • Kevin Breslin

    Might be a strange hypothetical to ask but since Gibraltar isn’t in the CTA, would Irish passport holders need a British Embassy or consulate to stamp their passport to get in from Spain?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    No Gibraltar recognises all EEC Passport Holders. It needs such tourists ! If you ever make it down to the place call into an Irish Pub called the Venture Inn at the Bottom of Main Street/Casement Square and ask for the owner. A girl called Margaret from Bangor. She will help you and look after you right. Good Person !

  • britbob

    Treaty of Utrecht – the Treaty said no Jews nor Moors shall live on the Rock – not very human rights. The Treaty has been trumped by the human rights law of self-determination which applies to ALL non-self-governing territories – Self-Determination.-The ICJ has made 4 Advisory Opinions and 1 Judgment that all confirm or state, ‘that the right to self determination is applicable to ALL non-self-governing territories.’ Reference : Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia 1971, P31-32; Western Sahara Advisory Opinion 1975, p68, para 162; East Timor Judgment 1995, P102, para 29; Legal Consequences of Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory 2004, p171-172 para 88 and the Kosovo Advisory Opinion of 2010, p37, para 79.

    There are no exceptions. A motion to place restrictions on the right was defeated by the UN Fourth Committee on 20th October 2008 making it an inalienable right. (GA/SPD/406, 20 Oct 2008).

    You mention the airport. The airport was built on the old southern section of the neutral ground. Spain built La Linea on the northern sector of the old neutral zone. The UK and Spain have both signed the 1975 Helsinki Accord that stipulates that ‘borders in Europe can only be changed by consent.’ That’s why the Spanish have NO LEGAL CASE.

  • LordSummerisle

    A very humane response indeed.

  • FurtherBeyond

    The EU, like the UN and the UK for that matter, has an obligation to comply with international law. The UN has listed Gibraltar as a “non-self governing territory” (colony), which the UK must decolonise, since the 1960s.

    The UK points to the results of referenda conducted in Gibraltar to justify its position. However, the use of referenda to survey British colonists illegally occupying other nations’ territories is simply a clumsy attempt to offer some veneer of legality to an otherwise illegal act – a fig leaf for the continuance of colonialism.

    Great Britain, compelled to countenance de-colonization by the UN, has sought to retain its colony in Gibraltar by invalidly invoking the principle of self-determination in a clearly self-serving way.

    For the UK to ask the descendants of people they imported to garrison a colony generations before whether they want to maintain their links with the mother country is a no-brainer. The answer is bloody obvious. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy designed to obfuscate the underlying territorial sovereignty dispute.

    The UN has declared such ‘referenda’ invalid. For example, UN General Assembly Resolution 2353, observed that the referendum conducted in the colony of Gibraltar in the 1960s was contrary to the various resolutions which had been adopted previously by the UN General Assembly requiring the UK to decolonise Gibraltar.

    On 11 December 2013, the UN General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, adopted, without a vote, decision 68/523 on the question of Gibraltar. The decision urged the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while listening to the interests and aspirations of Gibraltar that are legitimate under international law, 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 the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and applicable principles, and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.

    This is exactly the position that the EU has adopted.

  • FurtherBeyond

    Irrelevant I’m afraid. Both Spain and the UK to this day accept the validity of the Treaty of Utrecht. The dispute is about its interpretation.

    The Treaty of Utrecht handed over the “propriety” (property) of the fortress town and harbour, but without granting the UK “territorial jurisdiction”. The treaty also established that Gibraltar would have no direct communication with Spain, “the country round about”, and that if the UK were to sell Gibraltar or give it away, it should be offered to Spain first; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Indeed, the reason that Spain refuses to recognise assertions of jurisdiction by the UK anywhere in the Bay of Algeciras, on an almost daily basis, is precisely because “territorial jurisdiction” was never ceded to the UK.

    Unfortunately for the UK, the UN accepts Spain’s interpretation. For example, on 11 December 2013, the UN General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, adopted, without a vote, decision 68/523 on the question of Gibraltar. The decision urged the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while listening to the interests and aspirations of Gibraltar that are legitimate under international law, 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 the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and applicable principles, and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.

    Those resolutions require the UK to decolonise Gibraltar by returning the territory of Gibraltar to Spain.

  • britbob

    Self-Determination
    Self-Determination.-The ICJ has made 4 Advisory Opinions and 1 Judgment that all confirm or state, ‘that the right to self determination is applicable to ALL non-self-governing territories.’ Reference : Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia 1971, P31-32; Western Sahara Advisory Opinion 1975, p68, para 162; East Timor Judgment 1995, P102, para 29; Legal Consequences of Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory 2004, p171-172 para 88 and the Kosovo Advisory Opinion of 2010, p37, para 79. There are no exceptions. A motion to place restrictions on the right was defeated by the UN Fourth Committee on 20th October 2008 making it an inalienable right. (GA/SPD/406, 20 Oct 2008)

    Boo

  • nilehenri

    no idea why it’s making such ripples in the news then. must be fake.

  • nilehenri

    and when indeed shall we see such a fine oil commemorating that most bravest of exiteers, the great david cameron?
    future historians will have a field day unpicking the influence of the great war celebrations on the national psyche when it comes to explaining the brexit.

  • nilehenri

    excellent post.

  • britbob

    Distraction politics – Catalonia.

  • nilehenri

    really? curious that they aren’t blocking scotland’s bid for eu membership then. do you think eta handed in their guns to distract from the brexit effect too?

  • britbob

    No. Do you believe that Spain has a valid claim to Gibraltar? If so, why?

  • FurtherBeyond

    You have no idea what you’re talking about do you? The International Court of Justice has expressly recognised that there are exceptions to the right of self-determination for populations living in non-self governing territories in certain specific circumstances (see: for example, Professor James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007, Chapter 14).

    The General Assembly has expressly taken the view that colonial enclaves such as Gibraltar constitute an exception to the self-determination rule, and that the only option in such cases is for the administering authority to transfer the enclave territory to the enclaving State.

    The wishes of the population of the enclave are not regarded as relevant in determining the sovereignty of the colonial territory.

    This is especially so in the case of ‘plantations’ because they are populated to a large extent by citizens or subjects of the colonial power who settled in the disputed territory displacing a previously existing population pertaining to the enclaving State.

    In such cases, the residents are not the indigenous inhabitants of the territories and are, in effect, the beneficiaries of colonial rule. The rationale being that it would be perverse and contradictory to condone past colonialism on the strength of a principle (self-determination) which was primarily designed to dismantle colonialism.

    Hong Kong is just one example of the application of these rules of international law by the UN. Macau is another. Both Hong Kong and Macau, The British and Portuguese colonial enclaves in southern China, were removed from the list of non-self-governing territories in 1972 by the UN on the basis that their status was that of ‘Chinese territory occupied by British and Portuguese authorities’. Hong Kong was subsequently transferred to China as a Special Administrative Region in 1997 and Macau in 1999. In neither case was the local population consulted.

    Do yourself a favour, stop reading Gibraltar’s propaganda and get the facts. I would recommend that a good place to start is : Justice Crawford’s leading monograph on the subject: The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007, Chapter 14.

  • FurtherBeyond

    You have no idea what you’re talking about do you? Your interpretation of the relevant international law is simply wrong.

    Spain ceded Gibraltar to the UK in the wake of the War of Spanish Succession in the early 18th century, formally handing it over in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht. According to this treaty – still valid today – Spain handed over the “propriety” (property) of the fortress town and harbour, but without granting the UK “territorial jurisdiction”. The treaty also established that Gibraltar would have no direct communication with Spain, “the country round about”, and that if the UK were to sell Gibraltar or give it away, it should be offered to Spain first; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.

    Indeed, the reason that Spain refuses to recognise assertions of jurisdiction by the UK anywhere in the Bay of Algeciras, on an almost daily basis, is precisely because “territorial jurisdiction” was never ceded to the UK.

    The International Court of Justice has recognised that there are exceptions to the right of self-determination for populations living in non-self governing territories in certain specific circumstances (see: for example, Professor James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007, Chapter 14).
    The General Assembly has expressly taken the view that colonial enclaves such as Gibraltar constitute an exception to the self-determination rule, and that the only option in such cases is for the administering authority to transfer the enclave territory to the enclaving State.

    The wishes of the population of the enclave are not regarded as relevant in determining the sovereignty of the nationality of the colonial territory. This is especially so in the case of ‘plantations’ because they are populated to a large extent by citizens or subjects of the colonial power who settled in the disputed territory displacing a previously existing population pertaining to the enclaving State.
    In such cases, the residents are not the indigenous inhabitants of the territories and are, in effect, the beneficiaries of colonial rule. The rationale being that it would be perverse and contradictory to condone past colonialism on the strength of a principle (self-determination) which was primarily designed to dismantle colonialism.

    Hong Kong is just one example of the application of these rules of international law by the UN. Macau is another. Both Hong Kong and Macau, The British and Portuguese colonial enclaves in southern China, were removed from the list of non-self-governing territories in 1972 by the UN on the basis that their status was that of ‘Chinese territory occupied by British and Portuguese authorities’. Hong Kong was subsequently transferred to China as a Special Administrative Region in 1997 and Macau in 1999. In neither case was the local population consulted.

    After considering all the applicable case law, including all relevant ICJ cases and advisory opinions, Justice Crawford of the International Court of Justice and former professor of international law at Cambridge university, concludes in his 2007 authoritative monograph on this aspect of international law, that the principle of self-determination has no application, or is relevant only so far as the modalities of transfer of the territory are concerned, in the case of non-self-governing territories which are colonial enclaves that have been created by colonisers on the territory of a surrounding State. This is the case with Gibraltar.

    I’m afraid that in a contest between Justice James Crawford and yourself the justice wins hands down. Don’t kid yourself, none of your amateurish attempts at pseudo legal reasoning invalidate Justice Crawford’s legal opinion. In order to successfully undermine Justice Crawford’s expert legal opinion you would need to show that he has misinterpreted the law – but you can’t do that can you?

    Save yourself further embarrassment by learning how to correctly interpret international law by reading Chapter 14 of Justice Crawford’s book: The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007.

  • britbob

    Gibraltar & Self-Determination
    So you don’t think the people of Gibraltar have the right to self-determination?
    1.
    Self-Determination. The ICJ has made 4 Advisory Opinions and 1 Judgment that all confirm or state, ‘that the right to self-determination is applicable to ALL non-self-governing territories.’ There are no exceptions. (they didn’t say some or most they said ‘ALL’ NSGTs.
    Fourth Comittee (Senior Decolonization Comittee) A motion to place restrictions on the right sponsored by Spain & Argentina was defeated by the UN Fourth Committee on 20th October 2008 making it an inalienable right. This was the second occasion that a motion to place restrictions on the right to self-determination was defeated.
    2.
    So it doesn’t apply because the Gibraltar is part of Spanish territory. Last time I checked it was a British Overseas Territory, and classified by the UN as a non-self-governing territory. In any case in respect of Territorial Integrity. 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.’’ ‘Thus the scope of the principle of territorial integrity is confined to the sphere of relations between states.’ Therefore, acknowledging that the principle of territorial integrity does not impinge on the international law of self-determination. This makes sense as only individual states have signed the UN Charter. Also, para 6 of UNGA 1514, of 1960 regarding territorial integrity cannot be applied retroactively.
    3.
    But the Gibraltarians are not a people. A people. In 1989 UNESCO described ‘a people’ as the Webster’s definition, ‘the entire body of people who constitute a community or other group by virtue of common culture, religion or the like.’ They also adopted the Kirby definition which includes f) a territorial connection. In the many UN resolutions on decolonisation the words ‘people’ and ‘population’ are used interchangeably.
    4.
    The people of Gibraltar are an implanted population? Implanted Population The legal doctrine of population transfer being prohibited came into force with the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949; it cannot be applied retroactively and therefore is not applicable to the Falklands. The UN believes self-determination applies to “implanted populations” based on the Caribbean territories on the list of non-self-governing territories such as Anguilla where 90% of the population is descended from the Atlantic slave trade. Similarly, the UN clearly believes that these territories have the right to self determination as it did with the numerous Caribbean nations that have achieved independence after WW2.
    5.
    But the right to self-determination is only applicable to indigenous people? Indigenous People UNESCO conference of experts in Barcelona 1998 clarified the right to self-determination and stated, ‘from the indigenous perspective, the term “indigenous people” has no intrinsic meaning. It is just a technical term which allows a number of people to participate, albeit in a limited way, in internal discussion affecting their situations. Many Falkland Islanders stem from immigrant communities as do so many people from North and South America. It would not be realistic to limit the principle of self-determination to the small number of people who can truly claim to be the descendants of indigenous inhabitants.
    Still not convinced?
    6.
    The UN Secretary General has confirmed on at least 2 occasions that the right to self-determination is applicable to ALL non-self-governing territories.18 May 2010 – The world’s 16 remaining territories that still do not govern themselves must have complete freedom in deciding their future status, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told a forum on decolonization today.
    “I don’t think Security Council members are violating relevant UN resolutions. The impression is that people who are living under certain conditions should have access to certain level of capacities so that they can decide on their own future. And that is the main criteria of the main UN bodies. Having independence or having some kind of government in their territories. I don’t think it’s an abuse or violation of relevant UN resolutions”, said Ban Ki-moon. 12.11.1012

    -V- Crawford. Ha ha

  • FurtherBeyond

    Distraction politics – Scotland, Northern Ireland and Little Britain.

    Stephen Potts are you ever on point or is your sole intention only to obfuscate issues? Catalonia has nothing to do with Gibraltar. But since you brought it up; let me enlighten you on this issue too.

    According to the Spanish Constitution, national sovereignty resides with the Spanish people (and not in just one part of it). The Constitution proclaims, as do all constitutions around the world (except two: Ethiopia and Saint Kitts and Nevis), the unity of the nation as a common and indivisible homeland of all its citizens.

    According to the Spanish Constitution, the regional government of Catalonia has no legal competence to convene a referendum in political matters of special relevance, such as the definition of Spain.

    Thanks to the Constitution, Catalonia enjoys, as do all other 16 Spanish autonomous communities, one of the highest levels of self-government in the world, with a level of competences that may well be compared to those of any German “land,” for instance.

    Catalonia has its own executive and legislative institutions, and its own police and civil code. It elects (in 40 electoral occasions since 1978) its representatives at the national, regional, local and European levels, and uses and promotes the Catalan language.

    Its citizens enjoy every civil and political right. Spain’s legal framework goes as far as giving all 17 Spanish autonomous communities the possibility of setting up delegations abroad that may exercise the protection of the interests that fall within the scope of their competences and the Spanish legal framework.

  • britbob

    You have no sovereignty case to take to the international courts. De-colonization means de-colonization not re-colonization. Your man Crawford falls short on dismissing self-determination which is applicable to ALL NSGTs. The ICJ didn’t say ‘some’ or ‘most’ they said ALL. Spain has also signed the 1975 Helsinki Accord that stipulates ‘borders in Europe will only change ‘with consent.’ So bang goes Spain’s claim again. I notice that you have given up on the ‘transplanted population’ nonsense. Ha ha.

  • nilehenri

    apart from the castle, the coast and the ramparts mentioned in the treaty yeah, i do.
    why? because it says so in the treaty. i think you confuse gibraltan needs, wishes and interests.

  • britbob

    Is the ‘no Jews nor Moors shall live on the Rock’ still relevant because the Treaty mentions that? Of course not. Spain signed the Helsinki Accord in 1975 which stipulates that ‘borders in Europe will only be changed ‘with consent.’ You will also find that stealing peoples territory was legal in the 18th and 19th centuries and was only outlawed by the League of Nations in 1919. Spain does not have a valid claim to take to court – the UK offered them the change to go to the ICJ with Britain in 1966 over the Isthmus, airspace, territorial waters and the status of the Rock. They declined. So they have also acquiesced to British possession.

  • nilehenri

    is the ‘fort, port and ramparts’ part still relevant then? you’ll be a handy lad to have around at the negotiations then.
    as you so rightly say, most countries moved with the times and modernised their former colonies. not so england. which is why gibraltar, like the north, remains such an international oddity. brexit seems to be ironing that all out though.

  • britbob

    Not true. Some Non-Self-Governing territories have small populations and freely determine to remain as they are. That is why the UN came up with – UN resolution 2625 XXV 24 Oct 1970, also states, …”the free association or integration with an independent State, or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.” The people of Gibraltar have had a number of referendums and it is their free wish to remain as they are. Common sense really.

  • nilehenri

    not true because you say so doesn’t make it not true.
    you are saying that their wishes more important than their interests? weird one that.
    i’m not positing a takeover but tell me, just how will gibraltar actually function post exit, given that spain has effective control over everything that enters and leaves the island, tele-communications, power, travel links etc ad infinitum? i hope you have more than common sense to aid you.

  • britbob

    Gibraltar generates its own electricity and has its own water supply (sea water is used to flush toilets & urinals) and fresh water is caught on the Rock. Water is also imported via ship. Not many people rely on land-line telephone communications these days. I repeat – The people of Gibraltar have had a number of referendums and it is their free wish to remain as they are. Common sense really. They have no desire for any joint sovereignty deal with their neighbour. And that is their right.

  • nilehenri

    great, so you can see where you poop while you snapchat on your mobile.

    “The people of Gibraltar have had a number of referendums and it is their free wish to remain as they are. Common sense really.”
    they also voted to remain within the eu, so square that circle. england and spain will decide this, the rock has been reduced to bargaining chip status.

    “They have no desire for any joint sovereignty deal with their neighbour. And that is their right.”
    no it’s not. their very status is in dispute, and they don’t have any real say in the final decision, no matter what picardo says.

  • britbob

    Wrong again. Self-determination is jus cogens – compelling law. The ICJ didn’t say it applies to some or most non-self-governing territories they said ALL. Also note that in 2008 the UN Fourth Committee (that’s made up of all member states), voted and rejected a motion supported by Spain and Argentina to restrict the right to self-determination.

    Self-Determination

    The International Court of Justice has confirmed in a judgment and four advisory opinions that ‘the right to self-determination is applicable to all the non-self -governing territories.”(Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia 1971, P31-32; Western Sahara Advisory Opinion 1975, p68, para 162; East Timor Judgment 1995, P102, para 29; Legal Consequences of Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory 2004, p171-172 para 88 and the Kosovo Advisory Opinion of 2010, p37, para 79). There are no exceptions. In regard to this, on 20 October 2008 the United Nations General Assembly rejected a motion from Spain and Argentina to place restrictions on the right to self-determination determining that it was a fundamental right. In the light of the ICJ 1995 East Timor Judgment, the United Nations International Law Commission and the UN Human Rights Commission regard the right to self-determination as ‘jus cogens’ (compelling law).