Are you confused by the arguments? Andorra is not shared sovereignty? Andorra is not joint sovereignty? Andorra is shared sovereignty? Andorra is joint sovereignty? Andorra is independent?
These are all questions that have been answered differently by different people. Some of these attempt to support and justify the Chief Minister's surprise assertion in Seville in which he signified possibly favouring an Andorran style constitutional status for Gibraltar. Others oppose and criticise him. What is salutary and interesting is that different concepts of "sovereignty", beyond the emotional aspect only, are at last being debated.
The reality is that there is no definitive answer to these questions. The answer is in the eyes of the beholder. There may not be a definitive answer but there are some certainties. I will attempt to identify some.
There are two princes in Andorra in whom ultimate sovereignty is vested. Fabian Picardo in his Chronic piece identifies those powers contained in the Andorran Constitution that are vested in these two princes. I do not intend to repeat them here. They simply do have powers. Like it or not this renders Andorra a joint sovereignty. Jamie Trinidad in his own piece in the Chronic tries to lessen the emotion in the argument by avoiding the use of the words "joint sovereignty" and alluding to "shared sovereignty".
What Jamie does,he is right on this point, is to emphasize that Andorra is considered by the international community to be an independent state with a representative in the UN. He argues that this, conjoined with the vesting under the Constitution of power in the people of Andorra, is such a diminution of the control shared or possessed jointly by the co-princes that it is not a hugely forceful or relevant consideration. This analysis is legally correct but, unfortunately, it suffers one insurmountable problem: political, geographical and power play realism.
What do I mean? First the simple consideration that Spain's claim is not satisfied by an arrangement similar to that of Andorra. Spain's claim is for territorial reintegration. This is not satisfied by esoteric and medieval concepts of co-principalities. Spain is geographically closer to Gibraltar. Spain is more powerful than Gibraltar on the international stage. These factors are only counterbalanced by real (not symbolic) British sovereignty.
In any event were Spain to agree it, what safeguard would Gibraltar have against its use of the residual power of the princes to advance their claim? Jamie suggests that one safeguard would be that the princes would be empowered in their personal and not national capacity. One would have to be naive to the extreme to believe that such a promise would reflect realities.
This opinion is clearly garnered from viewing the proposal from the perspective of Gibraltar. Viewed from the perspective of Spain and Britain, the panorama quickly changes. Spain's "prince" would be motivated by the national interest of Spain to reintegrate the territory of Gibraltar into the Spanish state. The British "prince" would be 1300 miles away without the same national interest drive that the Spanish "prince" would be motivated by. Certainly, acting in his personal capacity, the British prince would not have the power of the British government and its international standing supporting him for the benefit and protection of Gibraltar.
Additionally, the enormous differentials in size and international clout between Spain and Gibraltar cannot be ignored, nor can the reality of Spain's historical emotional reaction to Gibraltar. The size issue is presently neutralised by British sovereignty and the UK's responsibility to look after Gibraltar's international affairs. No real changes can occur by a negotiated arrangement without a substantive change in emotions and attitudes. Nationalistic considerations will come to the fore, both in Gibraltar but more importantly in Spain. These could undermine the viability of any arrangement in the international status of Gibraltar.
Where I simply get lost is trying to reconcile the Chief Minister's assertion, in the same speech in Seville, that independence is not an option for Gibraltar yet his suggestion of possibly introducing an Andorran style constitution is defended in the grounds that it is independence? The Chief Minister said in the Chronic "Andorra is a sovereign independent state ..." The only manner in which I can try to reconcile these arguments is on the basis that the application of a similar status to Gibraltar will fall short of independence in some manner that would placate Spain's claim to territorial reintegration. This matches the Chief Minister's reticence to ask for independence with resolving the Spanish concern that Gibraltar is not part of Spain's national territory by application of an appropriately modified Andorra model. If I am wrong then perhaps the Chief Minister can clarify that the GSD party's policy is to seek eventual full independence for Gibraltar.
It is also odd that not a single GSD Government Minister has been heard to comment publicly on whether or not the suggestion is acceptable to them. When will we hear from any of them? Do they each not have a view on such an important and fundamental issue such as this? Surely they each do, the electorate deserves to know what those views are. It is not enough for a party to advocate a policy of independence for Gibraltar yet hide behind the mantra "... only if the people of Gibraltar want this ..." Where is leadership in such a policy? My view, I simply do not consider that independence is an achievable or desirable goal ... so, as I have said in the past, leave well alone, we are doing just fine and only need minor governmental and electoral reforms to reduce the democratic deficit.