Cameron tells Rajoy - GIBRALTAR DECIDES!

by JOE GARCIA
As foreshadowed in Panorama yesterday, the meeting in London between David Cameron and Mariano Rajoy was a damp squib insofar as the Gibraltar issue was concerned.
Rajoy went to London with the Rock in his mind, but Cameron did not shift from the UK's clear standpoint on Gibraltar.

For cameron, there cannot be 'any discussions' unless Gibraltar so desires. In fact, Cameron made the UK position clearer than ever, saying that there would be no discusasions with Spain that the Gibraltarians did not want Britain to engage in. And he added that it was important for that to be understood.
And both Cameron and Rajoy confirmed that the positions of the two countries on Gibraltar differed.
Cameron made it crystal clear that when it comes to Gibraltar it is the Gibraltarians who decide.

At No.10 Downing Street, a reporter asked: I would like to know if on your bilateral agenda you talked about the conflict, Gibraltar, and specifically whether youíve talked about it and whether youíre going to open up a negotiation and if itís going to be exclusively if so between London and Madrid which is one of the requests of the Spanish Government.

Rajoy was rather subdued and uncharacteristically for a Spanish primer minister said very little: "Yes we have talked about Gibraltar and our Foreign Ministers will continue talking in the future. Our positions differ, but we will continue talking."
In fact they had talked about Gibraltar, there was no progress and positions differed, so all he could say was that they would carry on talking.

Cameron said more and was more explicit: "On the issue of Gibraltar, as the Spanish Prime Minister said we do have different positions from the UK perspective. "Thereís no change in the Governmentís position. Itís for the people of Gibraltar themselves to determine their future and we wouldnít engage in any discussion about Gibraltar that the Gibraltarians didnít want us to engage in and I think thatís important to understand. "But I donít believe that should get in the way of a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and Spain."

Cameron was repeating what he said in the Council of Europe recently: That it's for the people of Gibraltar themselves to determine their future.

NO TO BILATERAL TALKS
Meanwhile, on the eve of the London visit, the Spanish foreign minister Margallo received a missile from foreign secretary Hague in reply to a letter that had been sent by the Spaniard asking that the trilateral talks become bilateral, with the UK taking Gibraltar to the talks and Spain taking the Campo.

Hague replied that the Spaniards could include their local Campo representatives but in their own delegation. But the tripartite talks would have to remain tripartite between Britain, Spain and Gibraltar.

2012-02-22




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