Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Spain accused of hypocrisy over Gibraltar

Press Release - July 24th 2002

The Conservative Party's Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the European Parliament has accused the Spanish Government of bare faced hypocrisy over the issue of Gibraltar.

With the settlement of the Parsley island dispute between Morocco and Spain, the Spanish government still insists that Morocco conducts a referendum over the status of Western Sahara and yet refuses to accept a similar referendum over the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

Speaking in the European Parliament yesterday Dr Charles Tannock said:

"Spain of course is getting a dose of its own medicine. By relentlessly pursuing its claim over Gibraltar it will invite similar claims over other disputed territories. I, with the rest of the EU, support Spain over their repossession of Parsley Island which has been recognised as Spanish since 1668. But I also call upon them to recognise the right of Gibraltarians and the rock to remain British if that is their wish.

It is hypocritical for the Spanish to insist that Morocco conducts a referendum over the status of Western Sahara while refusing Gibraltarians the right to do likewise."