Sunday, April 02, 2017

Trouble in Gibraltar

I first went to Gibraltar 47 yrs ago. For 10 days in July/Aug. It was hot. In those days I was a keen runner,  and the staff in our hotel thought I was some sort of leading athlete. At the time I was playing rugby around Shropshire and Lancashire/Midlands area and a fitness fanatic. I just loved running. One of my biggest disappointments today is that because of back/knee problems I can no longer run. Liked the local macaques and the underground caves. Couldn't afford to stay in the Rock Hotel, and always hankered on returning to do so.

But back to the matter of Gibraltar currently being in the news. It all seems a bit odd to me. An unnecessary row that shouldn't have happened. There are some things we know. Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht about 300 yrs ago. Gibraltar is British. Polls tell us that around 99% of Gibraltarians consider themselves British. Coincidentally when I was there in 1969 there was a General Election taking place. Robert Peliza, leader of the Integration With Britain Party (IWBP) took over as Prime Minister from the long dominant Joshua Hassan. The aim was to elect MPs to Westminster. It was that British. It still is.

We also know that Spain claims Gibraltar as Spanish. No grounds at all. Spain just wants it - in the way a child might want another child's doll or toy tractor. We know Gibratarians voted Remain (96%)   in the EU referendum and are not happy with the UK leaving. But they are still British. They leave with us. I really cannot comprehend why the EU has decided to become involved, suggesting that Spain should have a veto over whether Gibraltar should be part of any UK trade deal with the EU. It's not that a Spanish veto is unacceptable. It's beyond my understanding how anyone would think anything else. I suppose it's thrown casually into the negotiation pot as something that can be traded. Anyway, in my view that is no way a Spanish veto is going to happen.

I went back to Gibraltar a few months back for its National Day. Memories of good times. But we didn't stay in The Rock Hotel. I'm feeling a desire to go back again - to show solidarity with fellow British citizens. And I will make sure I do stay in the Rock Hotel next time.

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