Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 60 - 66)



  60. Your deal.
  (Mr Straw) Not a Bishop and a Prince.

  61. No, no.
  (Mr Straw) Thank you. Certainly I can conceive of circumstances.

  62. In the real world.
  (Mr Straw) In the real world in which I believe it is very strongly in the interests of the people of Gibraltar—

  63. That was not the question.
  (Mr Straw) Hang on a second. What is more, as we got into the second stage, not the joint declarations, it would not be, never has been a matter that the joint declaration would go before the people of Gibraltar for approval in a referendum because a joint declaration essentially sets out a detailed agenda for further negotiations, that in the end the people of Gibraltar, for all the reasons which have been raised around this table, decide yes this is a way in which they end up with a greater degree of self-government than they have at the moment, much greater degree of self-government and at the same time solve all these day to day problems which they have with the Government of Spain, a very good deal. Then, of course, it is a matter for them to decide whether to vote for it.

  64. The heart has its reason which reason does not comprehend. Can you think of any real possibility that in a referendum the people of Gibraltar would accept that?
  (Mr Straw) I am not going to produce a list here but I think that such a deal which was also based on the concept of joint sovereignty and an end of the dispute would be very much in the interests of the people of Gibraltar. Okay.

  65. We hear what you say.
  (Mr Straw) I just remind you the person who said that was referring not to negotiations between States but affection and love.

  66. That is a very good point.
  (Mr Straw) I am trying to remember who said it. It will come back to me in a moment.

  Chairman: Secretary of State, I believe now Mr Bevan will leave us as we have finished on Gibraltar and Mr Darroch will take his place.

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