Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he has made to the motion passed by the Gibraltar House of Assembly requesting Her Majesty's Government to seek a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice on the right of self-determination and the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain Minister of State (Europe)

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to a Gibraltar House of Assembly motion of November 1999. We have not been asked to respond to this motion.

However, HMG's position on this issue has been consistent since the mid-1960s. We believe that Gibraltar's right of self-determination is not constrained by the treaty of Utrecht except in so far as Article X gives Spain the right of refusal, should Britain ever renounce sovereignty. Thus independence would only be an option with Spanish consent.

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