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GSD urges caution over Dastis sovereignty remarks

The GSD has urged caution in respect of the latest comments by Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis over Gibraltar’s sovereignty and in doing so reiterated the importance of adhering to the trilateral forum for discussions.

In a statement the GSD explained that while it is to be welcomed that Mr Dastis has said to the Financial Times that sovereignty is not the issue in Brexit talks over Gibraltar, it is clear that Spain may harbour aspirations in respect of the airport or trade that should raise caution in Gibraltar.

GSD Leader, Keith Azopardi said: “From Gibraltar’s perspective, we should seek to protect that talks over Gibraltar or that affect Gibraltar should not be conducted on a solely bilateral basis by the UK and Spain.”

“We have resisted this from many years,” Mr Azopardi said.

“The GSD Government under Sir Peter Caruana resisted engaging Spain under the umbrella of UK-Spain bilateral talks for the simple reason that it is only the representatives of the people of Gibraltar that should determine issues affecting our future.”

“We need to ensure that talks that affect Gibraltar are trilateral in substance and effect because otherwise the Government will have allowed decades of resistance on this issue to be eroded in an unacceptable way.”

“Secondly in any discussions over Gibraltar’s access to transitional or permanent arrangements with the EU we would need to ensure that there are no political concessions made or economic deals contemplated that would detrimentally affect Gibraltar’s position on fundamental issues such as sovereignty, jurisdiction and control and our economic self-sufficiency and sustainability.”

In respect of a Government statement reacting to Mr Dastis’s comments, the GSD flagged how the Government referred to the “joint management” of the air terminal agreed within the Cordoba Agreement.

“In fact, the Cordoba Agreement provides arrangements for “enhanced use” of the air terminal.”

Nowhere in it are the arrangements described as ‘joint management’”.

“The GSD is unclear why the Government has felt the need to allude to the terms of the 2006 Cordoba Agreement in responding to Mr Dastis’ seemingly more ambitious agenda.”

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