February 23, 2012 4 Comments
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made his first official visit to England since winning the election in November and was told that Britain will not negotiate with Spain on the question of sovereignty over Gibraltar without the approval of it’s residents.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Cameron, Rajoy said “We have spoken about Gibraltar and the foreign ministers will continue talking in the future. We have different positions, but we will keep talking.”
However, Mr Cameron was less ambiguous in his comments stating that the British position on the subject “has not changed”. Cameron is in favour of letting the Gibraltarians decide who governs them and will not enter into talks with Spain without approval from the islanders.
In 2002 the rocks residents overwhelmingly rejected a proposal which would have seen Britain and Spain sharing sovereignty over the island.
Zapateros socialist government had put the sovereignty talks to one side preferring to pursue efforts to benefit people on both sides of the Spain-Gibraltar border. The tripartite agreement included the UK, Spain and Gibraltar but Madrid have now rejected it in favour of quadripartite talks.
Other issues discussed by the leaders included Spain’s drastic labour reforms and budget cuts, implemented under recommendation from the EU, which brought 1.5 million people on to the streets on Sunday to protest.