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Gib Referendum Set For November 7

by Jason Gorringe,, London

05 September 2002

The government of Gibraltar announced this week that the planned referendum on the Anglo-Spanish joint sovereignty proposals will take place on November 7th.

The question put to the Gibraltarian people will be limited to the single issue of joint or shared sovereignty, according to reports, and the groups eligible to vote in the referendum will be:

- Resident registered Gibraltarians

- Resident British Overseas Territories citizens by virtue of a connection with Gibraltar

- British nationals who have been ordinarily resident in Gibraltar for at least 10 years.

The Iberia News service reported on Wednesday that the vote will also include people who are ordinarily resident, but temporarily absent from the Rock, such as students and medical patients.

Speaking following the announcement, Chief Minister, Peter Caruana stated that: 'This referendum will give us a further democratic opportunity to express our view on the principle of joint or shared sovereignty. The government believes that the sovereignty of Gibraltar should not be negotiated against our wishes, and that the British government should not enter into political agreements with Spain on sovereignty without our consent.'

He went on to add that: 'Quite apart from the Spanish dimension, joint sovereignty is in itself a thoroughly misconceived, unworkable and dangerous concept with no successful application anywhere. It condemns Gibraltar to a neo-colonial status forever.'

There was speculation in the local media yesterday that the UK and Spain are hatching plans to disrupt the Rock's referendum by launching a massive publicity campaign to coincide with the public vote.

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