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LETTERS / Gibraltar: EC directives, drugs and direct rule

From Dr Joseph Garcia Sir: Further to your report "UK tells Gibraltar it risks direct rule" (14 December), it would be colonial in the extreme for the British government to contemplate interfering in the internal affairs of Gibraltar because of the lack of implementation of certain EU directives. These include directives on river pollution and chemical industries, when there are neither rivers nor chemical industries in Gibraltar. In any case, the poor record of implementation of EU directives in certain large member states is well known, so it seems hardly consistent to explode the issue when it comes to little Gibraltar.

Gibraltar airport was excluded from the 1987 European air liberalisation agreement, against the wishes of its inhabitants. It is the only part of the EU that does not participate in elections to the European Parliament because the British Government has not put the necessary administrative arrangements in place.

It is a bit rich to expect Gibraltar to be saddled with the liabilities of EU membership while denied the benefits, such as those mentioned, which flow from it.

The only time a Governor of Gibraltar used his reserve powers to force through legislation was in 1955, and this provoked a major constitutional crisis. The effects of such an action taking place in 1994 are incalculable.

Yours faithfully, JOSEPH GARCIA Leader, National Party Gibraltar 14 December