Landaluce ignorant of what decolonisation is all about, says Opposition

The Opposition reject the policy of the Partido Popular that the only option for the decolonisation of Gibraltar is integration into Spain its so-called “rightful owner”. This view has been put forward by PP MP Jose Ignacio Landaluce whose party clearly has very little understanding of decolonisation issues and of international law on the subject.

The PP spokesman has said that international treaties and agreements leave no doubt that Spain is the legitimate owner of the territory of Gibraltar “which has been colonised by the United Kingdom”. Mr Landaluce has added that the latest pronouncements by the Secretary General of the United Nations positively favour the interests of Spain in the sovereignty dispute. He has explained that as far as the Partido Popular is concerned the legal position is one that favours Spain and the position in law must be paramount.

The Opposition considers that it would be helpful if the Partido Popular spokesman listed the international treaties, agreements and other points of law which have led the PP to formulate the view that the only option for the decolonisation of Gibraltar is absorption into Spain.

Mr Landaluce should know that the United Nations provides three ways in which a colonial territory can be decolonised under resolution 1541(XV). These are independence, free association, and integration. A fourth path to a decolonised status is provided in UN resolution 2625(XXV) which allows for a tailor-made solution which is freely accepted by the colonial people. The principle of self-determination is already established in international law as the overriding consideration and has been upheld by the International Court of Justice in other decolonisation cases.

Mr Landaluce and his Partido Popular colleagues should also be aware that the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights declares that “all peoples have the right to self-determination and by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status…”. This Covenant has been accepted by Spain without any reservation having been entered in respect of Gibraltar.

The Opposition considers that all that the PP are doing is repeating empty slogans and catchphrases, which have been there since the days of General Franco, without giving any thought to the reality of the legal position as it exists today in 2010.

"That position is that the future status of a decolonised Gibraltar can only be decided by the people of Gibraltar in exercise of their right to self-determination. For the PP to argue anything different is simply to continue to mislead and indoctrinate public opinion in Spain," the GSLP/Liberal Alliance adds.