asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has any plans to give up the Gibraltar dockyard.
[pursuant to his reply, 22 July 1981, c. 185–186]: After careful consideration, it has been concluded that the changed plans for the Royal Navy no longer sustain a need for a naval dockyard in Gibraltar and that the process of closure should start in 1983, with preparatory action as necessary in 1982. Consultations are about to begin with the Gibraltar Government in line with the Government's commitment reflected in Cmnd. 8288 to consider possible alternative economic activities including commercialisation of the dockyard. In addition it is planned to hold discussions on reducing the opening hours of the RAF airfield at Gibraltar to bring them more into line with those required for military purposes. Consultation with the trade unions will also take place.