If the Tories care so much about Gibraltar, there was a simpler solution than going to war

96 per cent of Gibraltarians voted Remain for a reason


Less than a week after the triggering of Article 50, and we’ve already reached the ‘threatening war’ of negotiations, with Michael Howard insisting that, just as Margaret Thatcher ‘sent a taskforce halfway across the world’ to defend the Falklands, Theresa May ‘will show the same resolve in standing by the people of Gibraltar.’

According to Howard, this extraordinary dispute is all about the democratic will of the people of Gibraltar. He continued:

“We’re going to look after Gibraltar. Gibraltar is going to be protected all the way because the sovereignty cannot be changed without the agreement of the people of Gibraltar.”

No reference, of course, to the fact that 96 per cent of the people of Gibraltar voted to remain in the EU — meaning that their status is being drastically changed without their agreement, but by the UK rather than those covetous Spaniards.

The Tory government may be astonished at how quickly this situation has spiralled out of control, but the Gibraltarians certainly aren’t. They knew that Brexit would be extremely disruptive to their economy, way of life and sovereignty.

In fact, if the Tories are so committed to Gibraltar — enough to threaten war against a key ally — surely they had a more straightforward way to solve this problem? By not holding a dangerous, disruptive referendum in the first place.

See also: Two days in, just how badly is Brexit going?

7 Responses to “If the Tories care so much about Gibraltar, there was a simpler solution than going to war”

  1. nhsgp

    Typical revisionism.

    The EU and Spain threatened Gibralter.

    So much for the EU keeping the peace, when they threaten [currently] another EU member.

    Tell them to piss off.

  2. patrick newman

    Michael Howard makes as much sense and noise as the barbary macaques but it is only another manifestation of the Tories going forward to the past! However it must be a welcome publicity diversion from the awful changes to benefits to be enacted this week.

  3. Boffy

    The Tory colonialists try to argue that its a dispute between Britain and Spain, but it isn’t, as I’ve set out – https://boffyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/would-britain-really-go-to-war-with.html. It is now a dispute between Britain and the EU, and so a dispute that Britain cannot ultimately win. If Britain with its $2 trillion economy, and 50 million people go to war with the EU and its $18 trillion economy, and 500 million people, Britain would lose hands down.

    That is the point. The Brexiters sold the delusion of sovereignty and independence, but as even Michael Helstine realised, what it actually achieved was a massive loss of sovereignty and indpendence, because as against these larger economies and states, Britain is puny, which is why May has had to crawl off to Trump, Erdogan and the Saudi Monarchs seeking financial crumbs from their tables.

    As with any war, it does not matter who was responsible for starting it, it is who has the power and might to finish it that counts. Britain has seriously diminished its economic, political, diplomatic and military power in the world, by removing itself from from being an important lever within the EU. Spain on the other hand, now has all of that leverage standing behind it from the EU against Britain, as indeed would any other EU member state.

    The Brexiters are being introduced to the real world, as opposed to the fantasy world they inhabit.

  4. Boffy

    As I have set out previously – https://boffyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/brexit-and-great-british-break-up.html – if the Tories wanted to respect the democratic rights of the Gibraltarians, they could allow Gibraltar to be an independent province within the EU, much like say Andorra, whilst the Gibraltarians could, if they so wished continue to view themselves as British.

    A similar solution could be applied to the North of Ireland, to satisfy the fears of Unionists, prior to the North of Ireland eventually being reunified with the rest of Ireland. The EU could facilitate such constitutional changes, by providing economic support and assistance. That would also facilitate an independent Scotland within the EU, whose borders to England, would be the same as those for Ireland.
    Indeed, if the proposal to press ahead with dividing England into regional centres, there is no reason why areas such as London that voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, should not become independent provinces as members of the EU, leaving only those parts of England and Wales that want to be outside to plough their own lonely furrow.


    And so it goes on, what a fiasco, we can’t even get our newest boats out of dry dock because of engine failure, the french navy have our sea jets on the charles de gaulle and the army can’t muster a single tank to cleethorpes nevermind europe.

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