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Gib Opposition Will Support Government's Referendum Motion

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

10 October 2002


The Gibraltar Opposition has announced that it will be supporting the motion calling for the sovereignty referendum to be held on November 7 in the interests of presenting a united front, despite having previously expressed misgivings.

In a statement released this week, the Opposition explained that: 'It is no secret that we would have preferred a referendum to have taken place earlier and with the choice of two options which we advocated in November last year. However, because it is important to have unanimity in Gibraltar, the Opposition will be voting in support of the motion so that it reflects the collective view of the elected representatives of the people and the Parliament of Gibraltar.'

Although the resistance to any form of sovereignty deal with Spain has been widespread and highly publicised in Gibraltar, the statement went on to caution against complacency, warning that every vote counts, and people should not feel that they do not need to vote in the referendum because the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

The Opposition concluded by expressing the hope that an outright rejection of the Anglo-Spanish negotiations on November 7 will 'close the door once and for all on any future sovereignty negotiations with Spain,' explaining that:

'On the back of a resounding rejection, the British government will have no authority to hold any further discussions to entertain Spain's sovereignty claim as they are required to do under the terms of the Brussels agreement. This means that the sovereignty of Gibraltar should never again be a matter for negotiation with Spain, unless the people of Gibraltar, in another referendum, give their prior approval to the commencement of such negotiations.'


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