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Anglo-Spanish Talks Stalled Since Summer, Official Reveals

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

10 December 2002


Speaking to the Spanish Foreign Affairs Committee, Spain's Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ramon de Miguel revealed that there has been no official communication between the British and Spanish governments over Gibraltar since the talks broke down in July over 'red line' issues.

Although Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar revealed earlier this month that issues relating to Gibraltar were raised unofficially when he met with UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair at the recent NATO summit in Prague, and suggested that formal talks are likely to begin again 'within a reasonable space of time', no date has yet been fixed for the resumption of the talks.

Any move towards the recommencement of the bilateral talks, however, is likely to be politically problematic for the UK government, given that nearly 99% of the Rock's population voted against the principle of joint sovereignty in November's referendum.

According to the Panorama news service, Liberal leader Dr Joseph Garcia this week wrote to UK Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Jack Straw urging him to heed the results of the poll, and to abandon the Anglo-Spanish talks.


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