Cook rejects shared sovereignty of the Rock
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Thursday 11 December 1997
Speaking after a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Abel Matutes, the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, declared that Britain "won't compromise on the issue of sovereignty against the wishes of the people of Gibraltar."
Those wishes were made clear by the refusal of Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Peter Caruana, even to attend the meeting here, to which he had been invited. Gibraltarians have long insisted they wish to remain linked to Britain. They want to tighten their links by changing from a crown colony to a crown dependency - a status similar to the Channel Islands.
Mr Matutes promised that under the Spanish scheme Gibraltarians would be able to retain British citizenship if they wishes, and enjoy autonomy equal to that of Catalonia or the Basque country. But Mr Cook warned that Spain's "policy of pressure" would not work.
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