Britain Agrees to Share Control of Gibraltar
Stephen Castle and Elizabeth Nash, The Independent (London, England)
BRITAIN IS preparing to give up absolute sovereignty over Gibraltar when it issues a joint declaration with Spain on Monday on the future of the Rock.
The deal giving joint sover-eignty to Spain comes as concerns in London over "selling out" the citizens of Gibraltar are outweighed by the desire for a new Anglo-Spanish axis within the European Union.
Both London and Madrid agree they have never been so close to a breakthrough. It is largely attributable to the esteem the British and Spanish premiers, Tony Blair and Jose Maria Aznar, have for each other, and their determination to co-operate in Europe.
Britain must win over the Gibraltarians. As with the Anglo-Irish peace process, the two governments are leading the way with a proposed joint declaration - like the 1993 Downing Street Declaration on Northern Ireland - that they hope will win eventual acceptance among Gibraltarians.
Mr Aznar said yesterday: "Things are nicely under way ... I hope we will be able to reach conclusions soon."
His remarks echo those of Peter Hain, the minister for Europe, who spoke of "good progress" being made and drew parallels with the Northern Ireland process.
Joint sovereignty was originally proposed by Madrid as a transition towards eventual transfer to Spain. Last autumn, Britain returned the idea to …
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Publication information: Article title: Britain Agrees to Share Control of Gibraltar. Contributors: Stephen Castle and Elizabeth Nash - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 2, 2002. Page number: 1. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.