Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 25 November 2018

Tories Abandon Gibraltar

Former Tory leader Michael Howard was unequivocal in his response when Sky News host Sophy Ridge asked him about the status of Gibraltar. “I think that there’s no question whatever that our Government will stand by Gibraltar. 35 years ago this week. another woman Prime Minister sent a task force halfway across the world to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish speaking country”.
Those dastardly Spanish speakers! ¡Ay Caramba! And there was more. “And I’m absolutely certain that our current Prime Minister will show the same resolve in standing by the people of Gibraltar”. Thus Howard showed, once again, why even after the deceit of the Iraq adventure, the electorate still preferred Tony Blair to him in 2005.
Moreover, we now know exactly how much resolve Theresa May will show in standing by the people of Gibraltar, and that is very little indeed. Because when push came to shove over the Brexit agreement, and indeed the outline agreement for Britain’s future relationship with the EU, our steely and resolute Prime Minister caved in. Totally.
This can be deduced from the text of a legal interpretation on the agreement: “After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, Gibraltar will not be included in the territorial scope of the agreements to be concluded between the Union and the United Kingdom. However, this does not preclude the possibility to have separate agreements between the Union an the United Kingdom in respect of Gibraltar”. And there is more.
Without prejudice to the competencies of the Union and in full respect of the territorial integrity of its Member States as guaranteed by Article 4(2) of the Treaty of European Union, those separate agreements will require a prior agreement of the Kingdom of Spain” [my emphasis]. Michael Howard goofed again.
Reporting that interpretation, Alberto Nardelli of BuzzFeed confirmed “Spain got what it wanted”. Perhaps presaging what the Murdoch press will be saying tomorrow, the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn responded “So Spain gets its veto on any future EU trade deal for Gibraltar after all - an original A50 demand. HMG opposed this for two years, but concedes defeat at the very last moment. Not an ideal look”.
And the obvious corollary was pointed out by Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato: “The change was rhetorical since Spain *and all other EU27* have power of veto over our future trading relationship with EU. As pointed out elsewhere, it could be Elgin marbles next. Etc, etc Extraordinary that even now this doesn’t seem to be clear to some MPs and journalists”. There is not merely a Spanish veto. Every EU member state has a veto.
Gibraltar, moreover, may not be the last concession. Nardelli also told “In addition to Gibraltar, draft EU27 EUCO declaration also includes a statement on fish, saying an agreement is a ‘matter of priority’, should build on ‘existing reciprocal access and quota shares’, should be negotiated ‘well before the end of the transition period’”.

So look for those fishing communities to realise, and soon, that they too have been screwed over by the Brexit process. What was that about Taking Back Control?
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


Anonymous said...

Isn't it really just about time Britain finally, FINALLY, grew up and conceded history long ago caught up with it and its shoddy remnants of empire? It would also help if it stopped acting like a pathetic vassal hanging on to the dress epaulets of its successor as world thief, hypocrite and danger to peace, the USA. Gibraltar is not "ours", never has been and never will be. It's one of the last bits of ideological flotsam and jetsam, a sure sign that the Gnomes of Westminster and Whitehall still retain the ability to get their collective head up their collective arse while sitting on it.

Britain has become a global laughing stock and will stay thus until it comes to terms with the modern world. But that is unlikely while it still harbours absurd politicians like Michael Howard and minor Colonel Blimps like Tugenhadt.

We are a tiny group of islands off the north coast of Europe, nothing more, nothing less. Time to publicly acknowledge it instead of living in the same kind of deluded "exceptional" bubble as the USA.

rob said...

So much giving away on so many issues. This deal is not just to appease the Leavers or the Redundant Will of The People.

It's a downright sell out of the UK economy and Union to foreign interests perpetrated by a con, a fraud, by those who some would call traitors in conjunction with those foreign interests.

So many parallels with the US coup.

A Kelly said...

Anonymous 12.13, you say that Gibraltar is not "ours", never has and never will be. I suggest you stand in the centre of Casetments Square and say that.

There is a very good hospital nearby, they will sort you out when the locals have finished with you.

Anonymous said...

Ann Kelly 14:28.

I'm sure you're "right".

Which only demonstrates the kind of prevailing outdated mentality described in the first post. The kind of mentality in imperial USA which said they'd "lost" China. And in later years "lost" Vietnam. And might still lose the peace in the Pacific - for which, see the John Pilger film The Coming War With China.

Britain had no right to occupy Gibraltar in the first place. The place is a militaristic hangover from an unlamented past. The sooner that is realised the better for everybody - especially for a fruitloop like Michael Howard, who actually threatened war over the "issue".

The year is 2018. Not 1718. Some people cannot and will not see the difference.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile in Morocco there appears to be some Spanish hypocrisy and the whole of Africa queues at it's doors.

Anonymous said...

Certainly there is Spanish hypocrisy evident in its remnant North African imperial enclaves.

But Britain isn't remnant imperial-hypocritical over Gibraltar is it? I mean, we're not like Johnny Foreigner are we?

Hello!?......Hello!?......Anybody there?......

A Kelly said...

I'll say it clearer then. The people of Gibraltar actually like the way things are, they like being the inhabitants of a British overseas territory with a lax attitude to tax and they don't want to be Spanish. They don't like being told that Gibraltar should be returned to Spain because Britain doesn't have an empire anymore.

If you are going to spout off, make sure you know what you are talking about first.

Unknown said...

Well Ann, the Spanish having secured a veto over a future FTA between the UK and EU, will press home that advantage, Spain will want joint sovereignty, access to UK fishing waters etc, the French and the Greeks will press for concessions.

Gibraltar sold out by the Tories for a lousy deal, that unites all in laughter at how terrible and vague the whole shoddy deal is.

Anonymous said...

Ann Kelly 20:48.

I'll make this doubly clear.

Your "arguments" are the same old cold tripe trotted out each time Britain was booted from its "dependencies and possessions" as it scuttled from empire. Recycled garbage still stinks.

The truth is Britain couldn't give a rat's arse about Gibraltar or its people - except to use them as a military base, mainly controlled by US military policies anyway. Once that "advantage" goes the place will be ditched faster than any other remnant of corrupt colonialism.

You may wish to delude yourself. But it's still 2018, not 1718, despite what you seem to hold in common with crackpot Michael Howard.

A Kelly said...

Military base? All that's left is RAF Gibraltar that doesn't even have any aircraft. It's just used as a transit air strip and is housed in the civil airport. As it's a major offshore tax haven, I think plenty of British people give a "rats arse" about it.

I've lived in Gib, so I know what I am talking about and you are someone who insists they are right when they obviously don't know what they are talking about and just make themselves look stupid.

I'll leave it there.

Anonymous said...

Ann Kelly 16:29.

Good that you leave it there. You appear not to see the contradiction in your own post, let alone the use of AZ berths in Gibraltar by British and US nuclear submarines. What d'you suppose the latter deliver...breakfast cereal?

You may have lived there, but so what? It seems like your eyes were closed most of the time. And since.

Mind you, you're not on your own. Cheshire natives were unaware for years that they sat on top of a nuclear warhead stockpile at Burtonwood.

A Kelly said...

Tin foil hat alert!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ann Kelly 17:29.

Tin foil hats are of no use if Gibraltar got nuked in a new world war. Which, because of its location, it would if such a war broke out.

Nor is "British citizenship". Everyone would be vaporised. Instantly. After which there would be no "Gibraltar sovereignty problem" because there would be no Gibraltar. Or much of anywhere else.

Outdated nationalist flag waving and lethal imperial madness (a la Michael Howard) got us into this mess and it cannot get us out of it. Three hundred years of British bullshit is enough.