Skip to main content


Volume 26: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1982

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his meeting with Ministers from Gibraltar.

We have not had the opportunity of meeting Ministers from Gibraltar since my right hon. Friend saw the Chief Minister on 26 May. We look forward to seeing Sir Joshua Hassan again in the near future. The Governor of Gibraltar called on my right hon. Friend on 23 June and was able to discuss the implications for Gibraltar of the postponement of implementation of the Lisbon agreement.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there are any circumstances in which he would be prepared to discuss the issue of sovereignty over Gibraltar with Spanish Ministers; whether he has any information to suggest any significant degree of support in Gibraltar for discussions on sovereignty; and how he reconciles those sections of the Lisbon statement which refer to overcoming all the differences between the United Kingdom and Spain on Gibraltar with the commitment by the United Kingdom to honour the preamble to the Gibraltar Constitution Order 1969, as expressed in article 5 of the Lisbon statement.

The Lisbon agreement of April 1980 envisages the start of negotiations aimed at resolving all the differences between the British and Spanish Governments over Gibraltar at the same time as the resumption of direct communications in the region. This means that each side would be free to raise any subject. But Her Majesty's Government have always made clear in this context that they will fully maintain the commitment in the preamble to the Gibraltar constitution to respect the wishes of the people of Gibraltar. Any resolution of differences must be consistent with this principle. The Chief Minister of Gibraltar and the Leader of the Opposition supported implementation of the Lisbon agreement on this basis. We are keeping in close touch with the development of opinion in Gibraltar.