The 2002

7th. November 2002

The official guide
to voters


Because it has been so widely missquoted in the media, we reproduce here the actual wording on the 2002 referendum.

You will see that it is NOT an endorsement of the status quo, simply a clear rejection by the people of the policy of the British Government in seeking a solution involving Joint Sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain.

Although labelled "Unofficial" in practice the referendum was organised by the Government of Gibraltar, the only competent authority to do so, and supervised by an international team of observers, headed up by Labour MP Gerald Kaufman, who ensured and confirmed that campaigning and the process was fair.

In practice, apart from posters put up at the designated areas, it was only the Voice of Gibraltar Group who actively canvassed for a NO vote, touring the estates with a loudspeaker van.

Here is the actual wording presented to the electorate:

"On the 12th July 2002 the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, in a formal statement in the House of Commons, said that after twelve months of negotiation the British Government and Spain are in broad agreement on many of the principles that should underpin a lasting settlement of Spain's sovereignty claim, which included the principle that Britain and Spain should share sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Do you approve of the principle that Britain and Spain should share sovereignty over Gibraltar?"

History records that with a turnout of 88% over 99% of the electorate did not support the position taken by Mr Straw, the self-appointed foreign secretary of Gibraltar.

The actual voting was as follows: 18176 voted representing 87.9% of the electorate. There were 89 papers spoilt of which 72 were blank 18087 of which 187 Voted YES, and 17,900 voted NO.

The Chief Minister speaking on the result stated that:

"A clear message had been sent to the world, and that a democratic politican at his own peril describes this result as irrelevent ... The result is one of democracy at work in its purest form ... The vote is the result of the will of the people of Gibraltar and that the concept of "Joint Sovereignty" is a dead end."

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