Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Rock Firm (War Veterans) Group, Gibraltar

  1.  We had occasion to listen to Mr Hain's replies to questions by the Committee. The Minister for Europe has misled the committee in representing Spain as a generous party to the negotiations. Neither the telephone lines nor the offer of their National Health Services are gratuitous concessions from Spain. Spain prohibits the privatised Spanish Company Telefonica from recognising the International Telephone Code for Gibraltar, in order to include Gibraltar in the Cadiz exchange, where we are at her mercy. We already use hospital services from Spain, like dialysis and scanning, which we pay for. Specialist services (heart, etc) are undertaken in U.K. hospitals.

  2.  Spain could not accede to the European Community, until she lifted the 14 years "siege" and opened the frontier at Gibraltar. She was at Britains mercy. The Foreign Office instead of forcing Spain to waive General Franco's claim (not 300-years-old!), initiated what is now referred to as the Brussels Process. This resulted in the Lisbon Agreement of the Tenth April 1980. Spain agreed to re-establish communications with Gibraltar and suspend the application of the measures then in force. The measures denied all communication with Spain. Non-recognition of our International Telephone Code 350. No telephonic communications, no land, sea or air communications and restrictions of flights over Spain near Gibraltar. The Falklands War aborted the Lisbon Agreement!

  3.  On the 27 November 1984 in Brussels, Britain and Spain, in a meeting attended by the Gibraltar Chief Minister, agreed to apply the Lisbon Declaration in all its parts and the implementation of mutual concessions of E.C. rights and the establishment of a negotiating process where everything including sovereignty would be discussed.

  4.  Seventeen years after the Brussels Declaration we have no sea communications, no air communications and restricted land communications. They still do not recognise our 350 Code, causing many incoming calls through Spain to be lost and Spaniards can only telephone Gibraltar by using a Cadiz code, which makes us a part of Spain. All these restrictions should have disappeared in accordance with the Brussels declaration!

  5.  Spanish workers enjoy all E.C. rights, and thousands work in Gibraltar. Gibraltarians are not allowed to work in the hinterland and have to accept all kinds of curtailment of European rights. How can we believe in any cooperation agreement with "democratic Spain"; let alone trust them with even a hint of a concession on sovereignty?

  6.  In connection with the Treaty of Utrecht, how can anyone disagree with that hispanophile Irish historian Sir Charles Petrie, when in his little red book "Gibraltar" he wrote Utrecht ceded but Versailles conceded. Even on historical grounds Spain has no say.


  Joint Anglo Spanish Statement by the Spanish Foreign Minister Sr Marcelino Orejas and the British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.

  (1)  The British and Spanish Governments, desiring to strengthen their bilateral relations and thus to contribute to Western solidarity, intend in accordance with the relevant United Nations Resolutions, to resolve, in a spirit of friendship, the Gibraltar problem.

  (2)  Both Governments have therefore agreed to start negotiations aimed at overcoming all the differences between then on Gibraltar.

  (3)  Both Governments have reached agreement on the reestablishment of direct communications in the region. The Spanish Government has decided to suspend the application of the measures at present in force. Both Governments have agreed that future cooperation should be on the basis of reciprocity and full equality of rights. They look forward to the future steps which will be taken on both sides which they believe will open the way to closer understanding between those directly concerned in the area.

  (4)  To this end, both Governments will be prepared to consider any proposals, which the other may wish to make, recognising the need to develop practical cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis.

  (5)  The Spanish Government, in reaffirming its position on the re-establishment of the territorial integrity of Spain, restated its intention that in the outcome of the negotiations the interests of the Gibraltarians should be fully safeguarded. For its part the British Government will fully maintain its commitment to honour the freely and democratically expressed wishes of the people of Gibraltar as set out in the Preamble to the Gibraltar Constitution.

  (6)  Officials on both sides will meet as soon as possible to prepare the necessary practical steps which will permit the implementation of the proposals agreed to above. It is envisaged that these preparations will be completed not later than 1 June.


  The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Howe, and the Spanish Foreign Minister, His Excellency Sr Don Fernando Moran Lopez, held a meeting in Brussels on the 27 November 1984 during which they agreed on the way in which the Spanish and British Governments will apply by not later than 15 February 1985 the Lisbon Declaration of 10 April 1980 in all its parts. This will involve simultaneously:

  (a)  The provision of equality and reciprocity of rights for Spaniards in Gibraltar and Gibraltarians in Spain. This will be implemented through the mutual concession of the rights, which the citizens of the E.C. countries enjoy, taking into account the transitional periods and derogations agreed between Spain and the E.C. The necessary legislative proposals to achieve this will be introduced in Spain and Gibraltar. As concerns paid employment, and recalling the general principle of community preference, this carries the implication that during the transitional period each side will be favourably disposed to each other's citizens when granting work permits.

  (b)  The establishment of the free movement of persons, vehicles and goods between Gibraltar and the neighbouring territory.

  (c)  The establishment of a negotiating process aimed at overcoming all the differences between them over Gibraltar and at promoting cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis on economic, cultural, touristic, aviation, military and environmental matters. Both sides accept that the issues of sovereignty will be discussed in that process. The British Government will fully maintain its commitment to honour the wishes of the people of Gibraltar as set out in the Preamble of the 1969 Constitution.

  7.  Insofar as the airspace in the region of Gibraltar is concerned, the Spanish Government undertakes to take the early actions necessary to allow safe and effective air communications.

  8.  There will be meetings of working groups, which will be reviewed periodically in meetings for this purpose between the Spanish and British Foreign Ministers.

Rock Firm (War Veterans) Group


November 2001

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