by Henry Hill
Friday, 19
March 2021
Idea
17:06

Why Gibraltar should join the United Kingdom

Boris Johnson could be the first PM to expand the UK since Pitt the Younger
by Henry Hill
If Gibralta is British, shouldn’t we officially invite them to join the UK?

Yesterday, Matt Hancock reported to Parliament the following words from Fabian Picardo, the First Minister of Gibraltar: “The United Kingdom has played a blinder on vaccinations and we have been among the beneficiaries in the British family of nations.”

News that the Rock has successfully vaccinated its entire adult population is obviously welcome. But Picardo’s phrasing raises an interesting question: is Gibraltar a British nation? And if so, isn’t it time we treated it like one and invited it to join the United Kingdom?

British nationhood is a complicated concept. There are plenty who deny it exists, and insist that the Union is simply an economic and political arrangement — a sort of miniature predecessor to the European Union.

A more historically-informed view is that there is certainly such a thing as the British nation, as the millions of people who report themselves ‘British only’ on the census attests, but that it has often expanded beyond the borders of the UK.

The sense of obligation the Government is displaying towards Hong Kongers, and before them the East African Asians, demonstrates this; as does the persistence of the Union Flag in the official symbols of the other ‘CANZUK’ nations of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

But if it is possible to be comfortably British without formally being part of the UK, why ought Gibraltar to consider it? There are several strong arguments.

First, representation. Parliament currently acts for Gibraltar in certain areas, and a Member of Parliament could represent the Rock when the House of Commons considers those issues. This need not be accompanied by any diminution in the powers and responsibilities of the Gibraltarian government and parliament — an expansive devolution settlement could be part of any treaty of union.

Formally joining the UK would also ‘normalise’ Gibraltar’s position in international law, giving it status analogous to that of France’s overseas departments and making it harder for Spain to exert pressure on it.

(The current international system is weighted against British arrangements — it is telling that the UK is regularly raked over the coals for its Overseas Territories whilst France has held on to an entire Latin American country without anybody really objecting.)

On London’s side, the appeal is even more obvious. By showing a bit more imagination than his mid-century predecessors who rejected Malta’s bid to accede to the Union, Boris Johnson could become the first Prime Minister to oversee an expansion of the United Kingdom since Pitt the Younger. (Rockall doesn’t count.) What better rebuke to those who insist that the country is doomed to fall apart?

Join the discussion


To join the discussion, get the free daily email and read more articles like this, sign up.

It's simple, quick and free.

Sign me up
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
76 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Swapping Scotland for Gibraltar sounds an excellent idea.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

The Frogs always get up to stuff. Saint Pierre and Miquelon are an unknown part of France, although they are thousands of miles off in the Atlantic off Newfoundland Canada and basically rocks! And amazing fishing quotas they bring in too!

Give Falklands a line on the Union Jack too, and Gibraltar, and some of the other outlandish places off in the wild oceans. I think a light blue line, for BFSA flag colour that is not on the Union Jack.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago

I presume everyone is thinking Falklands without saying it?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Off course the French have been doing this for some time, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Pierre et Miquelon etc etc

Jez O'Meara
Jez O'Meara
1 year ago

I served in Gibraltar for 3 years and found the place odd. I’m generalising here but I found the people were a mix of the worst aspects of britishness with that spanish manyana attitude to getting things done.
Gibraltar will never become fully integrated into the UK, they quite like the notion of being sort of British and enjoy a lot of benefits they would lose overnight if they became part of the official UK.
I enjoyed my time in Gibraltar and I would fully agree they ought to be part of the UK properly, but it won’t happen.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Jez O'Meara

Gibraltar’s population of about 35K is nearly the same as Falkirk, Scotland.
Economies of scale maybe applicable here.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

Our Defence. Should be structured around our remaining empire. Especially Gibraltar, Ascension, Falklands, Cyprus, Diego Garcia. Submarines both nuclear and conventional, bombers both medium and long range, fast attack craft. – with these bases we would control both sides of the Med, Indian Ocean and Atlantic. That’s enough.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard E
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

Don’t forget St Helena and Tristan da Cunha!

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

even Bermuda and the Caribbean Islands …

Richard C
Richard C
1 year ago

Would it make Gib a target for illegal migration from Africa as once in ‘Britain’, they are within British Jurisdiction and hence able to come to Eng/Sco/Wales/NI from whence they’ll never be required to leave?
It would seem a much more attractive route than via Greece and Italy and onwards

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard C

Good point. We will have to have a far more ‘robust’ Immigration Policy than the present one.

However, smugly secure in the knowledge that I have no future, it is up to the ‘young’ to decide if the wish a Cafe au Lait society, rather like that portrayed in the film ‘ The Matrix’ of a few years ago.

The only successful multi cultural society in history was that produced by Ancient Roman, and ‘we’ lack both their audacity and genius, and so are destined to fail.
Nature will be the Victor.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
daniel Earley
daniel Earley
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard C

The Gibraltar Straits can be extremely dangerous, there are very strong currents flowing through them. there is a ferry to Tangiers once a week but it’s not a trip i would take lightly in a small craft. Many already try it and many die trying.

Last edited 1 year ago by daniel Earley
A Spetzari
A Spetzari
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard C

There was some talk a few years ago about the Sovereign territories in Cyprus having the same effect.
Needless to say our current immigration policy is robust enough if it is enforced uniformly and effectively. The latter part being key

George Bruce
George Bruce
1 year ago

The sense of obligation the Government is displaying towards Hong Kongers

I wonder what the real story behind this is. Is money changing hands? Is it to keep property prices high in the south? An easy way to stimulate the economy?
Just one more part in the national suicide.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Could we swap them for the muslims? It would be the best deal on earth for the UK. The worst for China taking them in return. But they have their ways of dealing with such trouble – as we have recently seen.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

It’s great pity we didn’t start that process years ago, perhaps as early as 1948 when apparently we were short of labour.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

Immigration is mainly for the benefit of those that seek labour at below market rate. Think about the Muslims brought over to work in the textile mills of Northern England to give the mill owners a few extra years of profits before they went to the wall anyway.
The profits of immigration are privatised – taken by the mill owners and banked. The long term costs, both economically and socially are then passed to the state and rest of the population to deal with forever. Cultural problems, crime, educating and housing these people, more pressure on housing stock, schools, medical services etc.
Looking back, the mills ended up losing all their money anyway – so hardly anyone gained, and everyone was a loser.
There is a good argument for bringing people in who benefit the wider society around them and the country as a whole. And so it does matter from which culture they come from, and it does matter what their religion is and their skills are.
Using that qualification, why take illiterates from Africa and the Middle East who follow violent religions and come from violent cultures.
We should be bringing Taiwanese instead and forming our own semi conductor industry. That would benefit everyone involved – and i suspect in 30 years we wouldn’t have to suffer from Taiwanese Grooming Gangs or Taiwanese Inner city gangs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard E
Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

I’m sorry but this is the UK where we seem to have ideas around immigration they had in the USA a hundred years ago, all we need is a big lamp mounted on the cliffs at Dover:
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Jake C
Jake C
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

I recommend you go on aznidentity on reddit and see what Asians really think of a glossary.

Also we could just adopt a coherent semiconductor industrial policy (which is what the Taiwanese did) instead of importing Taiwanese.

Which is incredibly wrong headed.

We really only want to import a healthy amount of the top 1-2% of smartest people on the planet.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

Quite right.
One of HM Submarines should have torpedoed the ‘Windrush’ in the Channel in 1948.

We are supposed to be :”This precious stone set in the silver sea” are we not?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

A clear choice of quality versus quantity. Thank you.

George Bruce
George Bruce
1 year ago

The Chinese are pretty xenophobic themselves, highly intelligent and industrious. Why would one want to import a ruling caste that looks down on us?
I think the best immigrants are ones willing to marry with the locals, who are on average of better quality than the locals.
A few thousand young single Chinese women with no rights to bring in their menfolk or relatives would be a much better proposition.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Africa likes to have a pop at the imperialism of Britain and the other European countries. Wait til they get a taste of Imperialism Chinese style 🙂

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

They will be ‘eaten alive’. Serve ‘em right!

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

… a major HK influx would not bring FMG, serial child rape-gangs, cousin marriage

John MacDonald
John MacDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Maybe they just feel a sense of obligation towards Hong Kongers?

Chris Bond
Chris Bond
1 year ago

Perhaps we could add Bermuda too.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Bond

Bermuda is an independent country; Gibraltar isn’t.
Mind you, speaking as an outsider (Australian) I cannot imagine why Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands aren’t part of the UK.
I also think we missed a massive opportunity in not uniting Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Australia when Empire fervour was at its height. Piddling little independence movements can squeal all they like, but larger countries are fairer, better run and usually more robust economically than pipsqueak ethnically-based ones. It took Ireland many decades to achieve the prosperity it could have shared in as part of the UK during the mid-20th century.
And before the pile-on, my heritage is Irish.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Maurice Austin

Wasn’t that Sinn Feins’s original idea back in 1903. One King, two Kingdoms?
Rather like the contemporary Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.

Sadly the ‘Kerrygold Republic of Eamon de Valera wrecked all that, with absolutely awful consequences for the Irish people and in particular for many unfortunate women.

A nightmare off course that didn’t finally end until about 1996.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
1 year ago

Could not agree more. I may be an anomaly, but I am a proud Australian, Irish, Catholic, imperialist unionist (no, not a Unionist).
Because of my family history (my grandfather was PM of Australia in the 1930s) I happen to have an autograph of the vile de Valera. I respect it as an historical artifact but I am no fan.
I AM a fan of the Dual Monarchy by the way – my goodness the petty republics of central Europe gave up a lot in the name of ethnic pride.

Last edited 1 year ago by Maurice Austin
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Maurice Austin

I think Woodrow Wilson has a lot to answer for in 1919. Well meaning but idiotic.

And as you say those “petty republics” paid a terrible, if entirely predictable price, from 1938 onwards.
Incidentally James Scullin or Joseph Lyons?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Maurice Austin

I think all the places you mention, and UK its self, should become USA States!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Not a bad idea, but for 1776 it would probably have happened anyway eventually.

Peter Kaye
Peter Kaye
1 year ago

Jolly surprised no one has mentioned the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands. They’re a bit closer.
Personally, I’d love for Scotland, Wales, NI, even Cornwall, to ‘reverse’ into the EU by joining the Republic of Ireland, in a form of Celtic Federation (as Scotland has been mentioned).

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Kaye

Er, I did mention both the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Quite some time ago. See above.
As a Celt – a mainly Irish, but also Cornish and Welsh Celt – the “Celtic” idea is plain silly. Sure they all originally spoke Celtic languages, but then Spain and Romania both speak Romance languages.

Malcolm Flanagan
Malcolm Flanagan
1 year ago

The French have clearly been smarter at holding onto their colonies and influence than the UK. And also clever at extending aid inroads with former British colonies. Whitehall needs to fight back.
But the number of fast growing North African Islamics currently living in the Republic will eventually topple caucasian France either through sheer numbers at the ballot box or increasing violence. Secular French colonies may head for the exit at that point.

Last edited 1 year ago by Malcolm Flanagan
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We made a much better job of dumping our Empire than the French.
Just look at the mayhem they caused in both Indo-China and Algeria.
As for their efforts in Sub Saharan Africa, what an expensive fiasco.

Thanks to places like Sandhurst we have maintained fairly good relations with our former colonies, and beyond. Even former Portuguese Mozambique has joined that fabled Gin &Tonic club, the Commonwealth. What more can we do?

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago

France has the convenience of most of it’s former Empire being directly below it. Britain does not which probably explains it’s continued influence in these places.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
1 year ago

… the case of St Pierre & Miquelon is a curious one – never referred to in media contexts, the slate PR-washed clean — and no doubt of value to France in some Godforsaken way … and of course plucky Spain’s twin enclaves on the North African coast …

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

The Union Flag also features in the flag of Hawaii. Perhaps our Pacific tilt could tilt a bit further.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago

How can a small town in Spain be “British”?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Captured in 1704.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago

No. How can it “British”? It’s in Spain!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

A minor geographical point.
The name is Arabic so should it be Moroccan perhaps?

Vae Victis!

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago

It was Spain’s territory and they now want it back. They should dump their enclaves in Morroco while their at it.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
1 year ago

It shares a border with Spain. So does France. So does Andorra. So does Portugal. That doesn’t make it ‘in’ Spain.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

It was Spain’s territory so it’s in Spain. It’s certainly not in Britain.

Pierre Pendre
Pierre Pendre
1 year ago

According to your logic, Spain is in France because it is next door.There could be problems implementing that

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago
Reply to  Pierre Pendre

Spain and France both agree and that Spain is Spain and France is France. Necessarily Spain claims Gibraltar as it was their territory taken by a country 1000 miles away.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
1 year ago

Because it was ceded to Britain in 1704. Over time it became the land of a people; and not least has had a fine humane tradition as a place of sanctuary for persecuted Jews.
By parity of reason, Ceuta and Melilla are in Morocco; but they are Spanish territories, vigorously defended by Spain as such.
Likewise St Pierre et Miquelon are in Canada, but remain determinedly French territories: the only remaining French territories in N. America.
Somehow none of the people who make waves about Gibraltar and pretend it is a Spanish place, which it is not – it is a British place, – get up on their toes and yodel about those enclaves.
This discrepancy in conduct, like that of most Social Justice Warfare, makes me fairly sure that the objections to Gibraltar being British are mainly more of the 24/7 attempts by the truculent to demoralize the British people at home and abroad; alongside their general attack on western culture at large.
The chief object in life of bullies and those discontented with the Universe and themselves is to make others unhappy.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

I’m not a social justice warrior. I dout the Conservatives in Spain who want Gibraltar returned are SJW’s either. The British empire had many good things to say for it. But it’s over now. It’s illogical in 21st to hold on to them when their former owners want them back.Even we agree in our relations with Gibraltar that it’s not a part of the United Kingdom. The point is a bout sovereignty, Spain wants the sovereignty over Gibraltar and they should have it. It’s far more reasonable than Britain to have it.Canada doesn’t claim St.Pierre et Miquelon so it’s a different situation.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Personally I think Gibralter should join Spain. I know the Spanish handed Gibralter to the UK in perpetuity in the 18th century but I find it absurd that we cling to this bit of rock. It made sense when we had a great, world navy, but we can no longer even protect ourselves from people in dinghies waving smart phones. The whole thing is absurd, along with every other aspect of contemporary life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fraser Bailey
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Logically you are correct, but emotionally not.
The Gibraltarians are fanatically British, and whilst it maybe pragmatic to throw them to the Spanish, it would be morally indefensible.

Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

It’s also still a useful port and airport/airbase.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

It was last place to fly the RAF Hawker Hunter.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Scott Carson
Scott Carson
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“we can no longer even protect ourselves from people in dinghies waving smart phones.”

You might disagree with our immigration policies, but nobody is trying to “protect” us from people in dinghies. They don’t constitute a threat to be dealt with whether or not you believe they should be coming here.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

Tell that to the families of the various people who have been killed by asylum seekers.

Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Not to mention the families in Rotherham, Leicester, Luton, Telford, etc etc.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

Don’t forget the grooming gangs of Oxford.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago

The grooming gangs nationwide you mean?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Yes!

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

Birmingham and Bradford. You forgot Birmingham and Bradford.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

Come off it!
To lapse into the vernacular “they breed like bunnies”.
Two hundred today a million tomorrow, this is a ‘folk migration’, to be perfectly polite, that must be stopped; If only for the sake of our grandchildren.

“This fortress built by nature for herself a against infection and the hand of war”.

.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago

Too late I fear, they are already here and breeding like flies.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

Personally I’d advocate the disincentive of torpedoes. The Devil drives when needs must.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott Carson

You are quite wrong. The individuals might not be a threat in and of themselves (though you and I do not know that), but they could be. But that is not the point. Let’s stipulate that none intend harm.
Our country acts, mostly driven by the left, as though it is not up to us who gets to come and live here. As though this land is just some land… anyone who chooses can come and live here, regardless of their culture or beliefs or even actions.
Every one of these people has their own reason for coming. Not one can genuinely claim to be seeking safety. France is a safe, humane country. Not one person in France needs to seek safety in the UK – with the possible exception of French schoolteachers who have dared to teach about human rights.
These people – even if individually good, ‘safe’ people – represent an erosion of the rights of the people of this country. Drip – drip – drip. Each arrival (and the coterie of NGOs and parasitic lawyers who attach themselves) undermines the rights of the British people to decide who should be allowed in to live among us. If nationhood means anything, it means that we have a collective responsibility to each other first, and people outside our nation second.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe Blow
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

USA has outsourced its immigration policy to he Mexican Cartels, that UK also has, to various criminal Cartels, is amazing.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Quite right. They pay no tax and are at the the Southern tip of Spain. The self determination of 30,000 people doesn’t trump that of 65, 000,000 people. The only reason we won’t hand it over is because Spain won’t seize it like DenG Xiaoping threatened with the negotiations over Hong Kong. Quite logical that Spain wants it returned given it was previously their territory in the first place . Although they are hypocrites over their enclaves in morroco. We should give the sovereignty to Spain and maintain the British administration for 99 years then hand it over completely. If the Gibraltarians love Britain so much they should come live here. We have no national interest at all in holding on to the place.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

With respect, your view is not quite as important as that of the people of Gibraltar.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

It’s not about that it’s about sovereignty. Who actually owns the place. That would be Britain. Even our government agrees that the people of Gibraltar don’t own it. Also self determination doesn’t apply in this area as they are not a nation, they say that they are British. Time to return to Spain.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago

It is both British territory (with the full consent of the Spanish) and populated by a majority who wish to remain part of the UK.
It would be an outrage to make them Spanish rather than British without their full consent.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

It’s British because of a treaty signed in the days of empire which are now over. It’s illogical for a rock in Spain to be British. Time to return it. Just like Hong Kong couldn’t have a veto neither should Gibraltar and it’s low taxes.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

HK was ‘force majeur’, nothing to do with the ridiculous lease, just appeasing the wretched Fu Manchu & Co on the orders of our Imperial Master, the US of A.

Gibraltar is so nano (35K) let its residents decide.

Huw Hannigan Popp
Huw Hannigan Popp
1 year ago

Most of Hong Kong was on a lease Britain. It’s still interesting how the right to self determination somehow did not apply. Hong Kong’s population had no voice in the treaty to transfer sovereignty sovereignty only in drawing up it’s constitution after the tranfer was agreed with China. Gibraltar’s tiny population is a reason for it not to have a veto over the diplomacy of a state with a population 65 million which it isns’t even a part of.

MICHAEL MCGREGOR
MICHAEL MCGREGOR
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

We could. We could put a bullet through the dinghy. But we choose not to.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

A burst of 3 to 5 rounds from a GPMG would be much more effective.