By John Smith • 27 May 2020 • 11:41
Photo of Teresa Ribera at the Cepsa plant in Tenerife.
Credit: [email protected]
THE Gibraltar government is not happy about a comment made by Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gonzalez Laya who is also responsible for dealings with the European Union.
In a radio interview with Cadena Ser, she mentioned that she expected to be “agreeing a new status for Gibraltar between Spain and the United Kingdom” which inspired the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo to make very strong comments about her words.
He said “Ms Gonzalez Laya has made many positive references in recent months to the style, manner and tenor of the negotiations to come. She has taken a position which has not been hostile to Gibraltar. That has been very welcome by my Government.
“Her reference today in a throw-away line, as she enumerated a list of matters which she has in her pending in-tray as Minister, came alongside speculation that she might move on to a senior role in the World Trade Organisation. It was not a policy position being expressed in answer to question on Gibraltar.
“Nonetheless, it must be clear that Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar will not leave unanswered any suggestion, however tangential, that the ‘status of Gibraltar’ can be negotiated ‘for Gibraltar’ by any parties other than by the Government of Gibraltar.
“It is certainly unacceptable to Gibraltar to suggest that any such ‘negotiation’ could be ‘between Spain and the United Kingdom’.
“But let us be very clear about one thing: I will be negotiating for Gibraltar.
“No one else is democratically empowered to do so and no one else can agree anything for the people of Gibraltar with any democratic credibility. “
Whilst the British government has been very supportive of Gibraltar and its position, it must be assumed that as Gibraltar is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom rather than an independent nation, the British government will expect to be involved in any final negotiations.
As Spain insists to the United Nations that Gibraltar is a colony, maybe the time has come for Gibraltar to look for a new constitutional role for the post Brexit future.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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