A former Labour cabinet minister, Lord Hain, has suggested that establishing co-sovereignty over Gibraltar with Spain would resolve The Rock’s “predicament” over Brexit.
Lord Hain served as Europe Minister in Tony Blair’s New Labour government, during which he helped negotiate a deal in which the UK would share sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain. Residents of the British territory overwhelmingly rejected the proposal in 2002, with almost 99% voting against being co-owned by Spain.
However, speaking to Sky News, Lord Hain revived the prospect of sharing Gibraltar with Spain as the UK prepares to leave the EU, claiming he was “right” about the plan in the early 2000s.
Users on Twitter also voiced their vehement opposition to Lord Hain’s proposals. One user said: “It is not in the interest of Gibraltarians to be made foreigners in their own homeland.
“We are simply Spain’s neighbour, there is no international right to annex one’s neighbour.”
Another Twitter used added: “I loathe him for this. Gib is not a bargaining chip for pandering to Madrid. Over 300 years of the British and more importantly the will of the Gibraltarian people for self-determination over multiple referenda MUST override all else.”
The status of Gibraltar is seen by some as a last-minute obstacle in Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to finalise an exit deal with the EU, as Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has vowed to “veto Brexit” if there are no changes to the UK’s draft agreement with Brussels.
However, in reality, Spain has no ability to “veto Brexit” or unilaterally block the UK’s withdrawal agreement, with the 585-page legal text only needing to be ratified by a qualified majority of EU members.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)