Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Gibraltar Archives
Tuesday, February 19, 2002 Permanent link to this day
HMS Tireless and Gibraltar's status

Shaking Up the Rock: on how the damage to a British nuclear submarine rekindled the debate of Gibraltar's status, from the April, 2001 Atlantic:

The debate over the Tireless has revived another, larger debate--over the political status of Gibraltar. To Britain, Gibraltar is officially an "overseas territory." The United Nations considers it a "non-self-governing territory." The Spanish consider it a colony, and they want it back. Despite years of Gibraltar-related bickering between Britain and Spain, over issues ranging from fishing rights to drug smuggling and money laundering, there have been few high-level talks about Gibraltar's status. The last round occurred in 1999. The controversy over the Tireless could well jump-start another.

Britain invades Spain

Muddled Marines invade Spain by mistake

The Marines from 45 Commando had planned to sweep on to the beaches of Gibraltar in two landing craft as part of a training exercise. They were armed with SA80 rifles and mortars, although without live ammunition.

However, whether through faulty map-reading or poor visibility, they arrived in the Spanish fishing village of La Atunara. It took two local policemen to point out that Gibraltar was actually a little further down the coast.

In 1713 Gibraltar has ceded by Spain to Great Britain. It's ongoing status as a British colony has been a sticking point between the two countries recently, with possible resolutions including transfer back to Spain or self determination.

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley