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Gibraltar Rebuffs Spanish Maritime Area Claims

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

04 January 2013


The Gibraltar government has reiterated that it will not cede control of its maritime territory to Spain, and has sought to correct Spanish media reports that erroneously stated that the UK government is engaged with Spain on plans for the "joint management of the marine environment."

The Gibraltar government welcomed the statement from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office that denied the reports in what Gibraltar described as "clear and unequivocal terms."

"The fact is that the management of the marine environment in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) is a matter exclusively for the government of Gibraltar. For that reason, there is no question of any 'joint management' with Spain being agreed in respect of BGTW."

"There is even less likelihood that the UK government might be engaging on reaching such arrangements - given that they have no constitutional competence whatsoever to do so in respect of environmental matters and no mandate to do so insofar as related sovereignty issues might be relevant."

The government highlighted that this is the position consistently stated by the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague (as recently as December 10, 2012, to the British parliament) and the UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington.

"Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is confident that the UK is working on all legal and political options to protect British and Gibraltar’s interest; the direct opposite of 'co-operating to create a joint management plan,' as the erroneous Spanish reports have suggested," the statement says.

"For that reason the government is clear that the Spanish press reports are wrongly informed and entirely false in seeking to give that erroneous impression to Spanish public opinion," the government's statement concludes.

TAGS: marine | Gibraltar

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