A week after the Spanish Partido Popular
swept into power in Spain, the British Government's Europe Minister David Lidington
has vigorously restated the Government’s long-standing assurance that it will not talk about Gibraltar
’s sovereignty against the wishes of the Rock’s citizens.
The PP, lead by the country’s new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
, had said in its electoral manifesto that it would seek a return to bilateral talks with the UK over Gibraltar if elected. But the message from Britain this week could hardly have been any clearer:In a response to a question
in the House of Commons tabled by Tory MP Andrew Rosindell
, David Lidington said that neither he nor the Foreign Secretary William Hague had discussed Gibraltar’s sovereignty with Spain.
“Any communication that we have with the Spanish Government about Gibraltar reflects our clear position on sovereignty, which is that the UK will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes and, furthermore, the UK will not enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content,” he said. (my emphasis)