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A detailed, but readable, analysis of the attempt by Britain and Spain since 1980 to solve their dispute over the future of Gibraltar, the last-remaining colony in Europe. Spain wanted the restoration of her "territorial integrity", whereas the Gibraltarians have never shown any interest in becoming part of Spain. Britain had ignored UN calls for negotiations, but following the restoration of Spanish democracy and with Spain due to become a fellow member of both NATO and the European Community, Britain felt an obligation to try to resolve the dispute.
Using Spanish as well as British sources, the book examines the events which have taken place following the signing of the Lisbon Agreement between Britain and Spain to discuss the differences between them on this issue. It traces the effect of the Falklands/Malvinas war in 1982 on the Gibraltar negotiations, and shows that although the process was delayed, events in the South Atlantic did not prevent an explicit commitment in the Brussels Declaration of 1984 to discuss the thorny issue of the sovereignty of Gibraltar.
Since that time, although communications and co-operation between Spain and the Rock have improved, little progress has been made towards resolving the question of sovereignty. A major stumbling block has been the Preamble to the Gibraltar Constitution of 1969, which has virtually given the Gibraltarians the power of veto over any agreements which Britain and Spain might make.
Since 1988, when the veteran Chief Minister, Sir Joshua Hassan stood down and was replaced by Joe Bossano, the Gibraltar government has followed a policy aimed at increasing the colony's self-reliance. If there is to be any change in sovereignty it will probably occur under the umbrella of the European Union, but the manner is imprecise and the timing is remote.