Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Spanish Sovereignty by the Back Door

The marked difference in the treatment of the recent incursion comes into sharp focus when one compares that Gibraltar's Commissioner of Police released the Guardia Civiles so quickly against the revelation from the Commander British Forces that they would have come under live fire from guns had they turned in the opposite direction.

They were quickly released without charge when, even after their release, the Chief Minister was describing the incident as having been a very serious incident made substantially worse by Spain's sovereignty claim. He went on to boast that the Spanish Interior Minister had phoned him and not the the UK Minister or Governor or the British Ambassador in Madrid. A crucial factor in their release, one wonders?

We now hear that the UK Government has delivered a note verbale to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Could they have reminded them that external affairs, defence and internal security are still constitutionally the responsibility of the Governor, so what was the Spanish Interior Minister doing phoning the Chief Minister directly on this incident? Or is the Spanish Government specifically bypassing the UK Government and exerting its direct influence over our Chief Minister ... Spanish sovereignty by the back door?

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