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Gibraltar: political reality in terms of Brexit
Material posted: Publication date: 18-02-2018
Forcing the issue by Spain on Gibraltar in the framework of the negotiation process on Brickset for a reason. British overseas territories, located in the South of the Iberian Peninsula for a long time remain a stumbling block in relations between the two States.

Note that in the period from 2004 to 2010 saw a rise in relations between the UK and Spain, there was some agreement on Gibraltar. The situation is very quickly turned to tension. In 2011 elections there was a change of the ruling party in the Spanish Parliament, the country was headed by Mariano Rajoy (the conservative people's party). The conservative government revised the issues concerning Gibraltar, the position of Madrid is much tougher. The status of Gibraltar has once again become a subject of discussion in the negotiations between the Spanish and British parties. In the same year, was replaced by the candidate on a post of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, he became the leader of the socialist labour party, Fabian Picardo, who in election Manifesto declared that the sovereignty of Gibraltar is not subject to discussion or negotiation with Spain. Coupled with the conservatives of Britain, which at that time was headed by David Cameron, formed a fairly rigid unbalanced triangle, in which each party pursuing their own interests, adhered to a rigid position.

The escalation of the situation contributed to several factors: external and internal political, military-strategic, and finally economic. Overall, political factors are tied to the sovereignty claim on the part of Spain, military-strategic, linked with the territorial dispute, a demonstration of force by the UK (British Royal Navy ships in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Gibraltar). Economic factors complete and realize the pyramid relate to the airport and the port of Gibraltar, sea and air transport, crimes of an economic nature.

Using the database of CASCON, it is possible to make the second phase (from 2000 to the present), which, according to the author, allows to say with certainty that the relationship between the two players (Britain and Spain) there is a conflict, and his reference point is a violation by both parties of the regime of territorial waters, border control, information about the illegal activities in the territory of Gibraltar.

Three centuries of dispute about territorial claims today gets a new twist in connection with the withdrawal of Britain from the EU. Despite the fact that according to the official statement of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Spain, Alfonso Dastis, his country would not use Brickset as a way to gain control over the territory of Gibraltar, this issue remains a priority for the Spanish government.

After the announcement of the results of the referendum in 2016 regarding the UK's exit from the European Union, the authorities of Gibraltar are closely watching the situation. Recall, most of the inhabitants of the British territory voted to remain in the EU. Fears of Gibraltar about the future of the territory were supported by two facts: Spain may seriously affect the course of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union regarding the control over the enclaves, it is also likely that the Spanish side will complicate the everyday life of the Gibraltarians.

Any decision of the parties seriously affect those who are daily crossing the Gibraltar border to get to work, and will be decisive for the economy of the region and Gibraltar in particular. Border friction for a long time create a source of tension in relations between the parties. Border controls have been used repeatedly as a means of pressure. So, during F. Franco land border was closed, and during a long period of time a British territory remained virtually isolated.

In early 2017 Spain has caused much debate in political circles, when he got a veto on future relations between the EU and Gibraltar. In March 2017 the British side knew about the plans of Spain, after Prime Minister Theresa may critically said that will never allow the loss of control by Britain over Gibraltar if it would be contrary to the will of the Gibraltarians themselves. Some British politicians were more harsh in their statements, designating this position: Britain has never and will never sacrifice the interests and will of the population of Gibraltar will not give up the territory under Spanish sovereignty and, if necessary, will use military force, as it did with the Falklands.

Britain rejects the idea of bargaining "Gibraltar in exchange for access to the European market." In turn, the Spanish side demands a fair deal for Bracito, however, support any General decision of the EU.

What is the dissatisfaction of the Spanish side? First, Gibraltar is essentially a tax shelter for corporations, a place that is convenient for money laundering, for which the address has received numerous allegations from Spain. Second, the smuggling of tobacco and drugs, smuggling, organized crime - these problems and struggle with them are constant in the number of negotiating parties. Thirdly, we have the claim to sovereignty on the part of Spain, there remains the question of joint control of Gibraltar airport.

In a situation Brekzita could take Gibraltar? At the request of Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar has the right to veto the agreement of the EU and the UK in Brickset regarding a British overseas territory, if the transaction would be contrary to the interests of the territory[1].

What tasks are currently a priority for Gibraltar?

  1. Not to become a hostage situation, or a bargaining chip in the negotiations of two major players in the political arena (EU and UK);
  2. To preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty;
  3. To maintain a strategic position on the Strait of Gibraltar;
  4. To maintain commercial relations with Spain and the EU;
  5. To strengthen the financial system.

The future of Gibraltar will be determined in the near future and will largely depend on the degree of concessions to Britain in exchange for access to the European market. At the moment the possible scenarios are:

  1. The referendum on the independence of Gibraltar;
  2. Gaining control of Spain over strategic objects of Gibraltar in consequence of the transaction;
  3. Gibraltar remains under British sovereignty, continuing cooperation with the EU;
  4. After Brexit, Gibraltar does not cooperate with the EU.

 

[1] www.independent.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk%2Fpolitics%2Fgibraltar-brexit-veto-theresa-may-eu-deal-terms-chief-minister-fabian-picardo-spain-border-a8183946.html&usg=AOvVaw3DDCpflzG7TO5905gWXOGS

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