Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Sixth Report


    (a)  We recommend that the British Government give formal notice now to the Spanish Government that if border delays are not brought down significantly to a reasonable length by a specified date it will commence proceedings in the European Court of Justice under Article 227 (paragraph 7).

    (b)  We conclude that the Spanish Government is deliberately trying to curtail the development of Gibraltar as a commercial centre and that it is unacceptable that Spain's inadequate allocation of telephone numbers to Gibraltar remains unresolved 5 years after it was put before the Commission in 1996. We recommend that the Government take a far firmer line with both the Spanish Government and the EU Commission on this issue. We further recommend that the Department examine the scope provided under EU Treaty legislation for the British Government to take this issue to the European Court of Justice and report its conclusions in its Response to this Report (paragraph 10).

    (c)  We recommend that the Department in its Response to this Report set out how it intends to ensure that the people of Gibraltar are enfranchised before the 2004 elections (paragraph 12).

    (d)  We recommend that the Government in its response to this Report sets out how it intends to achieve progress towards an agreement on Gibraltar Airport (paragraph 13).

    (e)  We recommend that the Department in its Response to this Report states whether the Spanish Government is co-operating fully and expeditiously with the intended introduction of the Single European Sky (paragraph 14).

    (f)  We recommend that the Department should have a firm policy of publicly rebutting factually inaccurate statements and unproven allegations made publicly by Spanish Ministers about Gibraltar, and we wish to be assured by the Department in its Response to this Report that such a policy will be followed (paragraph 18).

    (g)  We fully recognise that the present Government inherited a number of the problems over Gibraltar. However, we remain very concerned about the lack of progress on the enfranchisement of British citizens resident in Gibraltar and in resolving the disputes over border delays and telephone numbers. Gibraltar lies within the territorial area of the EU. We expect the Government to ensure that Gibraltar fulfills its obligations under EU law, but above all, to uphold the rights of Gibraltar and Gibraltarians under the EU Treaties with the same determination and rigour as it would in any part of the United Kingdom (paragraph 19).

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