Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum from Mr Jim Watt

  1.  As a resident of Gibraltar keenly interested in my future I have written to your committee on two previous occasions firstly regarding the issues of the 1987 Airport Agreement and later regarding telephones, as these both being areas that I have personal knowledge and expertise in.

  2.  I followed Mr Straw giving evidence to your committee on 19 June 2002 with some astonishment, his demeanour indicated he also had some difficulty presenting his case.

  3.  Firstly it is not my understanding that Sir Joshua Hassan, the Chief Minister of the day in 1987 actively took park in the negotiations over the proposed airport "deal" and when he returned to Gibraltar he was clearly upset that this had been negotiated over his head. The way this agreement has been used subsequently to limit development of the airport locally and the way the Chief Minister was used explains the caution and safeguards insisted upon by Mr Caruana.

  4.  I think it very valuable that your committee visits Gibraltar and has the chance to see things as they really are and not as they are presented. You will see how Mr Hain's suggestion that the Airport become a "regional hub" and his spin regarding the commercial expansion of the port as a factor in the local economy are far removed from reality.

  5.  Turning to telephones I would refer you to my previous communication which remains an accurate statement of the situation. Mr Straw still does not know the difference between lines, numbers and what the Spanish have actually offered, and what is really needed.

  6.  My future is being determined by politicians who are not answerable to the Gibraltar electorate, and who clearly do not understand or want to know what the true situation is. It is institutions like your committee that act as a valuable check and balance against their sell-out of Gibraltar for political expediency.

Jim Watt


June 2002

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