In Support our Right to Vote

MEP for the
South West of

Backing Gibraltar

What a stitch-up! Labour has reached another low by attempting to bully Gibraltarians into an Anglo-Spanish deal over sovereignty. It is a sad reflection on the Government that its Ministers are negotiating with another EU Member State which has spent the past 30-plus years trying to bully the residents of Gibraltar into submission.

Some 35 years ago the Gibraltarians voted almost to a man and women to reject any agreement with Spain. Since then, their neighbour has obstructed traffic at the border, restricted air and telecommunications links and falsely accused the colony of crooked practices. It has also persisted in continuing to occupy the two Moroccan enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, two "Gibraltars" which are not self-governing like the Rock.

This month, at the invitation of Conservative Euro MPs, Gibraltar’s chief minister Peter Caruana visited the Parliament to meet Conservative Members. We used the occasion to highlight our opposition to any deal on Gibraltar which could be done over the heads of its residents.


Glyn Ford
MEP for the
South-East Region

Britain in Europe

Glyn met with key “Britain in Europe” staff to discuss the Euro-campaign, and also to talk about the situation in Gibraltar: the European Court of Justice has recently rules that Gibraltar is entitled to a vote in the European Parliament. The Minister for Europe, Peter Hain, has indicated that he agrees with this ruling. At present, there is a debate on which UK region Gibraltar would go into: the favourite location is the South West constituency because of both its geographical proximity, and its similar peripheral problems. However, the final decision will be made by the electoral commission after consultation with the people of Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Government and the Opposition.


Charles Stannock
MEP for
Greater London

UK government will bully Gibraltar

"I think that the Gibraltarians are not being consulted at all. It was interesting that the Barcelona Summit, and the resolution from the Parliament afterwards, welcomed the bilateral talks between the two governments without any mention of consulting the people of Gibraltar. Peter Caruana, the chief minister, has only been offered a place at the table as an observer, with no right of veto over anything discussed," Tannock told Rapporteur last week.

"In my view there will be an agreement and it will be on joint or shared sovereignty between the two countries, with British sovereignty phased out over a period of time. It will then be put to a vote in Gibraltar and rejected. The British Labour government will then use this rejection as an excuse and say that that was the best deal they could deliver, complete with a 30 million euro aid package to sweeten the deal. It will lose interest in Gibraltar, claiming that it is a thorny problem that is intolerable to the British national interest, and it will say to the people: 'We will marginalize you'. I think effectively the Gibraltarians will be punished. Its privileges enable it to exist as an offshore financial centre, but all those privileges will be made very difficult. British banks will be discouraged from opening offices there. There will be de facto financial sanctions to bring it to heel, when all Gibraltar wants is to retain British sovereignty.


Philip Bradbourn
MEP for the
East Midlands

Gibraltar is like Birmingham

Mr Bradbourn is a member of the MEP support group for Gibraltar, and has already visited the region several times.

His press spokesman James Cantrill said:
"We are very patriotic and so are they, and we are also a very multi-cultural constituency. There's a lot to offer in the West Midlands, and we would like to welcome them in. The distance between the two halves of the potential constituency would be no bar, MEPs almost see planes as buses with wings. He would have plenty of time to give to the people of Gibraltar.

The partnership between Gibraltar and the West Midlands would be perfect - we would have a lot of things to offer each other.

Dec 27 2002 : Conservative MEP Phil Bradbourn has suggested they be included in his West Midlands constituency, which ranges from the Black Country to Worcestershire and includes Coventry and Warwickshire.

It has eight MEPs - four Tory, three Labour and a Liberal Democrat, who each represent the whole area.

Mr Bradbourn said in Strasbourg last week: "We're the only European region in Britain without a coastline and Gibraltar would give us one."

So, an encouraging and enthusiastic level of support from a number of MEP's for Gibraltar.

However, given the failed "sell-out" policy of the Labour Government, fronted by Jack Straw, and the downright lies told by his stooge Peter Hain, now hiding in Wales, it would be very hard in Gibraltar for anyone to consider voting for a candidate connected with the Labour party, despite the resolute support from some of its members.

Its also a consideration that Gibraltar elections are noted for a high percentage of electors turning out to vote, with 87% doing so for the November 2002 Referendum. So a solid block vote might make an impact even on a large consituency, particularly given the general lack of interest in the UK in EU matters and elections in particular.

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