Gib ‘will have to think again on co-sovereignty’ says Hain
Former Labour Europe Minister, Peter Hain, the Minister at the centre of the Joint-Sovereignty proposals in 2002, has asserted this is still the best way forward and that Gibraltar “will have to think again”.
In an opinion in the Guardian yesterday he suggested, that having tried to negotiate a co-sovereignty arrangement with Spain, Britain should now revisit the long-shelved plans to share sovereignty over Gibraltar with Spain in order to help solve the problem of the Rock being excluded from the EU against its will.
Mr Hain insisted the co-sovereignty deal was and still could be a “win-win for all parties to the dispute”.
“The only concession Gibraltarians would have to make is a Spanish flag flying on the Rock alongside a British one. Their cherished British citizenship, traditions, customs and way of life would be unchanged – except for the better because being under siege from Spain would disappear.
“Pints of beer would still be served in British-style pubs. Gibraltarians would keep their institutions – self-government, an elected house of assembly, courts and police service,” he wrote in the Guardian.
He called on the UK to think again about “resurrecting co-sovereignty today” which he said “would doubtless provoke a similar reaction on the Rock even though “it’s in a much worse place than 15 years ago because of likely exclusion from the EU against its will.”
But he believed it would give Gibraltarians much more freedom and security than ever historically
“It’s surely time to dust down those files, and for politicians in Gibraltar, Britain and Spain to show some real leadership,” he emphasised.
He called on today’s Conservatives, please pay heed.
“Though co-sovereignty was only officially endorsed by our Labour government in 2002, former Tory Europe minister Tristan Garel-Jones has confirmed that “this is what we were trying to do under the Thatcher and Major governments”,” he wrote.
He added: “In 2002 our new deal for Gibraltarians was roundly rejected in a referendum. They were stuck, wanting to remain where they were, yet hating where they were. One of their cheerleaders, rightwing Tory backbencher Andrew Rosindell, desperately asked: “Why can’t you just reintegrate Gibraltar and make it part of England?”