Letter: Towards a deal on Gibraltar

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The Independent Online
Sir: While one cannot but agree with Clive Cunningham's conclusion (letter, 5 July) that it is time to find a solution to the problem of Gibraltar and "let the ghosts of history rest in peace", the rest of his letter leaves one wondering whether he has actually ever been any closer to Gibraltar than, say, Madrid.

The population of Gibraltar demand not their right to "remain British" but rather the basic democratic right to decide for themselves what their status should be - a right which Spain seeks to deny them by insisting that the question of Gibraltar is not one of self-determination but of territorial integrity.

It is Spain which chose to politicise the agreement on the use of Gibraltar's airport, not Gibraltar, which has no objection at all to common-sense arrangements for sharing the airport.

I do not know on what grounds Mr Cunningham concludes that Gibraltar can never be viable on its own. It is in fact perfectly viable if only Spain would stop its constant harassment and acknowledge the right of the people of Gibraltar to decide their own future. It may well be that, given the opportunity, they would welcome a status under the EU, rather than specifically British or Spanish auspices - but that must be for them to decide.




The writer was Deputy Governor of Gibraltar, 1988-90