What exactly is Gibraltar’s worth to the UK

Carmen Gomez

When the realization comes that we have been treading the same boards, on the same stage as we have done for years, and for some strange reason our audience has not changed one iota; one has, not to capitulate, but look at how we have done things in the past, and understand that we have to change the content of the script; not just for survival’s sake alone, but for our future wellbeing, and because we owe it to those who came before! Our stance at the UN has to be revived; it has to be seen with fresh eyes and fresh input; because our performances so far have fallen on deaf ears; or better said; on ears that will not listen. The audience has become stale and we as players need some new strategy that will not so much wake them up, but rock their foundations.

I do think however that in order to carry this out we need outside help and support here; interested parties who may have something to gain by helping us; directly or indirectly. Surely the government must have knowledge of legal procedures to follow in order to gain us some bargaining power but on our terms; or loopholes in the law which can be tapped into, to turn something in our favour. I don’t suppose we have any markers to call in, because we are not in the heavy weights league; but surely some debate has to be raised in the realms of ministerial meetings which must surpass the “You have our assurance that we have your interests at heart.” And it is not only at the UN that a spur to action is required here at this point in time.


We need to start making headway in matters to do with Spain now; because ever since the word “colony” was enclosed in small print under EU legislation matters, it has reignited the age old aspiration for them to restart the same rigmarole i.e. going back to the UN etc etc.. I think we can’t be doing with this; it would be too much to bear. It’s high time to sit around a table and ask the UK directly “what exactly is Gibraltar’s worth to them; and what do they intend doing for us, to radically stop the machinations that Spain has set in motion to mar our existence with the EU after brexit. As far as Margallo was concerned, this was Spain’s last chance at trying to make a final grab for Gibraltar. I say that this has to be our moment of truth; a day of reckoning. The UK Government has to stop the diplomatic parle which they have accustomed us to over the years, and their shilly- shally, and come clean with us.


The thing is that not only are we leaving the EU per se; frankly I believe that many of us don’t give a hoot anymore; but thanks to Spanish rhetoric, we are now looked upon as “enemies of the people;” for not only has the EU taken Spain’s side on all matters relating to Gibraltar without acknowledging Britain’s sovereignty at any given time; but according to an article in the Guardian earlier this year, EU sources had actually said that the UK made Spain swallow the British position on Gibraltar, when the country sought to join the then EEC in 1984; even threatening veto if Madrid failed to re-open the land border.

If Spain continues this trend of poisoning everyone’s mind with lies about us, “la tenemos cruda!” Because despite the fact that we may never do any business in the future with them, there is the border to contend with; and a Spain that has the backing of twenty seven other states, is a Spain that will carry so much more weight politically.

The UK has to be aware that Spain has specific stances and problems, some of which have already been addressed, and others which will need addressing over the course of the negotiations. Brexit is very bad news for Spain as concerns their relationship with the UK. The economic as well as the Atlantic character shared by Spain and the UK, suggest that Spain is one of the countries that has most to lose from Britain’s departure from the EU. This being the case, why not exert some pressure on them on our behalf, and secure our position; not just post Brexit but forever! Spain I’m sure, like the rest of the other member states, has an interest in the post Brexit relationship with the UK changing as little as possible. I mean what more could we ask for! The moment is so propitious that it doesn’t bear giving it too much thought. You know; the old phrase of “striking whilst the iron’s hot!” Bold

Gibraltar has been bold in the past when push comes to shove. The facts speak for themselves. Like the time when things got very sticky on matters of our sovereignty, despite London’s displeasure with the idea, our Government organised an internationally–supervised referendum!

But It has been greatly damaging for us to be hindered by the fact that although certain Prime Ministers and the Foreign Office in particular, have tried to make deals behind our backs; deals which have not come to fruition thanks to us; nevertheless the harm has been done, because they have stayed on the table! This has been a constant fuelling of Spain’s expectations which has not only spurred them on in their crusade of one day recovering Gibraltar; but has been a source of great dismay to us, in what we consider to be a close and tight relationship with the UK. They say that winning does not feel like winning, if your side can’t grab the levers of power you need to follow through.


A certain cynicism about the motives of others is probably good for survival and at this particular juncture in our history; it would be cruel to be deemed the Brexit losers!