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Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 12 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to visit Gibraltar.

I understand that the right hon. Gentleman's travel schedule is very full, but will the Minister of State assure the House that there is no wavering in the support of Her Majesty's Government for the people of Gibraltar? What progress, if any, is being made in negotiations with the Spanish Government about both the constitutional position of Gibraltar and the reopening of the land frontier with Spain?

Our views on all these matters have not changed. We established what I hope is a definitive statement of attitude on Gibraltar in the preamble to the 1969 Constitution Order, a statement established by the Labour Government at the time, endorsed by the Government which followed it, and maintained since then by us. That has been our policy since 1969 and it will continue to be so.

Does that mean that there can be no question of any change in the status of Gibraltar without the consent of the people of Gibraltar?

It means exactly what it says, which is that Her Majesty's Government will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another State against their freely and democratically expressed wishes.