Gibraltar: A Tax Haven Not a Nation 885


There are 32,000 Gibraltarians organised into 11,400 households. Extraordinarily there are more registered companies than households, including 8,464 registered offshore companies.

The Government of Gibraltar’s own website is notably candid about its tax haven activities. It urges you to establish there so you can take advantage of:

Highly-developed business services infrastructure where it is possible to passport an EU licence in financial services such as insurance and re-insurance, EU-wide pensions, banking and funds administration, amongst others.
Distribute competitively priced VAT-free goods and services to the markets of the EU and Africa.
Conduct business in a quality low-tax jurisdiction with a profit oriented capital base at low levels of corporate tax, all in a stable currency with few restrictions in moving capital or repatriating dividends.

It is no wonder Gibraltar voted 96% pro-EU. Its entire economy rests upon the use of its anomalous status to undercut the tax regimes of genuine EU members. Remarkably for a population the size of Ramsgate, there are 17 registered banks in Gibraltar, including Credit Suisse, the money laundering giant raided by combined European police forces yet again yesterday, and RBS/Natwest’s tax avoidance entity.

Gibraltar was occupied by England (yes, England) in 1704 when it was sacked by the Hessian Prince George (wry smile Hessian – sacked) and 90% of the Spanish population fled after being subjected to mass rape.

Britnats have been all over twitter this last 24 hours shouting that Gibraltar was given to Britain “in perpetuity” by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. Thankfully the world has changed since 1713. The Treaty of Utrecht also gave Brazil to Portugal, much of Italy to the Hapsburgs and gave Britain the monopoly on the shipping of African slaves to South America. Thankfully none of those turned out to be perpetual and the British occupation of Gibraltar is equally immoral and anachronistic. That the Foreign and Commonwealth still quotes the Treaty of Utrecht is evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the British government’s position.

There is a key point here. Empires cannot cloak their continued Imperial possessions under the “right of self-determination” of Imperial client populations. Still less is there a “right of self-determination” for an entire Imperial client population to leech off tax avoidance activities by virtue of their Imperial possession status. The right of self-determination does not apply to the colonists of Gibraltar, who like the Falklanders are an introduced Imperial population – contrary to myth the large majority of Gibraltarians are not descended from the original Spanish population. Gibraltar is plainly listed by the UN as a Non Self Governing Territory. Self-determination is not applicable in international law. UN General Assembly Resolution 2353 specifically asserted that Gibraltar is a colony which impinges on the territorial integrity of Spain and thus on Spanish right to self-determination, and that a referendum of the colonial population could not change that.

Britain’s fervidly jingoistic attempts to hold on to its remaining colonies are pathetic. I have a memory as a very small child of watching Rolf Harris on TV dressed in union jacks singing “Please Don’t Alter Gibraltar” to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory. Google has just reassured me this really happened and was not a nightmare. I now realise from the timing that was a riposte to the UN General Assembly discussions. That it was Rolf Harris gives the perfect pointer to the grossly immoral British position on Gibraltar.

Ironies abound.

Irony 1
It is the Little England Brexiteers who are frothing at the mouth over the EU saying it will take heed of Spain’s position on Gibraltar – despite the fact the Gibraltarians voted 96% in favour of the EU.
They cry, how dare the EU take into account the position of the United Nations and of its member state, Spain, against what will be a non-member state? Who could have seen that coming?

Irony 2

Gibraltarians of course voted in favour of the EU in order to benefit from the opportunity to continue undermining EU tax regimes.

Irony 3

The Daddy of them all. The Britnats who crowed repeatedly at Scots, extolling alleged (and improbable) Spanish desire to veto Scottish EU membership, are shocked, shocked that Spain may veto a Brexit settlement over Gibraltar.

Anyway, to cheer up you Britnats, here is a picture of the massive audience for Theresa May’s recent Glasgow speech. Dressed as Rolf Harris. Altogether now “Please Don’t Alter Gibraltar”.


885 thoughts on “Gibraltar: A Tax Haven Not a Nation

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  • Habbabkuk

    Craig

    “There are 32,000 Gibraltarians organised into 11,400 households. Extraordinarily there are more registered companies than households, including 8,464 registered offshore companies. ”
    ____________________

    Any idea of the figures for Liechtenstein, San Marino, Monaco and perhaps even Luxembourg?

    Oh, but hang on a moment8 They’re not the Uk so that’s alright then 🙂

    Your are really an UK-hater.

    • ThrowAway

      There is much to dislike about the UK and its colonial history. Infrastructure built on opium grown in india and sold to the chineese, tobacco and slavery.

      • Dr Awesome MD

        And of course, the Scots are completely innocent of ever being part of the UK? LMAO

        • JOML

          Throwaway appears to be commenting on the UK as a whole, so I’m not sure why you have perceived the post in the way you have. I agree with Throwaway’s post, while acknowledging that Scots played a central role in many of the atrocities. What does LMAO stand for (apologies, I’m only familiar with lol, etc)?

  • Patrick Roden

    What I don’t understand is: why didn’t the Tories include the rights of Gibraltar in their section 50 order?

    Surely they would be fully aware that Spain has had a constant desire to see Gibraltar back in their hands.

    Of course Spain is a permanent member of the EU Council, so has a veto on any deal the UK gets from the EU Brexit talks
    so is it being overly suspicious, to ask if the UK and Spanish governments have had secret talks already on the matter, and the UK has agreed to sell the Gibraltans down the river?

    • Why be ordinary

      Indeed. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, Brexit transformed it into a dispute between a Member State and a non-Member State. The duty of loyal cooperation means that the EU collectively will side with Spain. It also means that the EU will no longer defer to UK views about the Malvinas.

      • Martinned

        The duty of loyal cooperation means that the EU collectively will side with Spain.

        That’s not what the duty of loyal cooperation entails. EU member states stick together because they want to, not because the Treaties say they have to. There is zero chance that the EU member states would not back the UK over the Falklands. (Although they might be a little less enthusiastic than before.) Of course, that’s also a NATO issue…

          • Martinned

            I didn’t say it was. NATO art. 5 only applies to the territory of NATO states in Europe. (And, presumably, Turkey.)

            But the NATO member states collaborate militarily through NATO, and tend to discuss issues with military implications through that forum.

    • Martinned

      What did you have in mind for the *article* 50 *letter*?

      Also, the final agreement under art. 50 is does not require unanimity but only QMV (72% of voting weights, meaning that Spain needs about 3-4 mid-sized allies in order to block the deal). Of course, any post-Brexit trade deal would almost certainly exceed the EU’s competences under the Common Commercial Policy, and would therefore be subject to unanimity. (With or without national ratification.) But that’s a worry for a later day.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well, if Britain and Spain cannot come to some sort of agreement ovef Gibraltar, we could a Kettle war on our hands, who’ll spill the soup first I wonder.

        Or we could see a war similar to the Dutch/Sicily isles war. A war that lasted (officially) 335 years, it had no battles, no blood shed and no casualties, now that’s my kind of war.

        Alternatively, it could and probably will, just be one big shouting contest. ?

        • Martinned

          Awww, thank you for that reference to the Kettle War. You’re right, that’s the good kind of war…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettle_War

          That actually still has important political implications today. Because of the 200+ years that the Dutch blockaded the port of Antwerp, the Dutch-Belgian independence treaty of 1839 was careful to specify that the Dutch had to ensure the accessibility of the Port of Antwerp. This means a) that we couldn’t put a dam in the Westerschelde like we did elsewhere in Zeeland after the 1953 floods, and b) that the Dutch have to periodically dredge and deepen the Westerschelde. This last bit, in turn, meant that (skipping a few steps) the Hedwigepolder will be inundated in the next few years in order to maintain the ecological balance of the region. As you can imagine, inundating a polder that has been there for centuries has annoyed a few people… (even though there only one inhabited house still there.)

          • Republicofscotland

            Martinned.

            Well think yourselves lucky, Belgium since 1815, has paid the Duke of Wellington’s family more than $46 million dollars, as a reward for winning the Battle of Waterloo.

            The Duke’s descendents are also allowed to call themselves the Prince of Waterloo. ?

            Thank you for the correction.

          • Martinned

            WTF??? How did I not know about that?

            (I did know about the current Duke of Wellington standing for election to be a representative peer recently. How’s that for splendid irony?)

      • Why be ordinary

        Yes – but QMV only applies to the exit agreement. The future relationship agreement will need unanimity and almost certainly be mixed – so the Spanish parliament will have to agree as well as the government. Just be thankful that the Greeks haven’t put the Elgin marbles on the bill yet.

          • Why be ordinary?

            The EU says that the future agreement is indeed “for another day” but the British government wants parallel negotiations now arguing that the exit agreement needs to take account of the future arrangements. So her letter should cover both. I agree with Dave below.

      • Dave

        A50 does not cover any new trade relationship with the EU do it’s fair to expect that Spain will like the other 27 members have a veto over any new UK-EU trade deal. However the point i note is that this statement from the EU gives a veto to Spain over the deal as implemented in Gib. This smacks of a compromise to Spain to avoid them derailing the deal entirely and impacting northern EU nations trade with the UK itself

        • fred

          Spain wouldn’t derail the deal anyway. They have too many banking interests in the UK and it would harm their fragile economy if Britain left Europe without a deal and British tourists didn’t holiday in their half finished hotels.

          • michael norton

            I think Spain now owns Heathrow Airport,
            they also own some of our water

          • Republicofscotland

            “it would harm their fragile economy if Britain left Europe without a deal and British tourists didn’t holiday in their half finished hotels.”

            Of course Britain wouldn’t be harmed dropping into the WTO, but Spain still part of the EU and its 27 trading partners would suffer terribly. Aye right.

            Spanish hotels may not be the pièce de rèsistance, but regardless of the fate of Gibraltar one way or another British tourists will still holiday in Spain, in my opinion.

            A wee interesting fact about the Spanish national anthem La Marcha Real, the words were dropped after the death of General Francho in 1975.

          • fred

            “I think Spain now owns Heathrow Airport,
            they also own some of our water”

            And Santander owns banks and building societies, plus their fishing boats rely on access to UK waters, there are a lot of ways Britain and Spain have come to rely on each other.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Though the Marcha Real has no lyrics, words have been written and used for it in the past.”

            “One version was used during Alfonso XIII’s reign and another during General Franco’s dictatorship; however, none of them were ever made official.”

            “The national anthem has been played without words since 1978, when the lyrics that had been approved by General Francisco Franco were abandoned.”

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcha_Real#Lyrics

            Several regions of Spain do on occasion add their own unofficial lyrics.

    • D-Majestic

      Either that or a confrontation in store. Two bad results being better than none. But to your point-why indeed? Surely someone who is paid to think about it had done so?

  • Dorothy E Prior

    Junk article, argument full of holes. Why use the descriptor ‘tax haven’ as if they were dirty words, implying Gib is a ‘dirty place’? Spain is notoriously corrupt, and still fighting ‘rancid’ 300-year-old wars. Gib has been British for longer than America has been American. Should the Channel Islands be given ‘back’ to France? The whole of the population of Gib is as near as dammit 100% pro Remaining British, and always has been. Go invent some other alarmist fake news and leave it us in peace. Spain, of course, supports such junk news because it helps divert attention from Spain’s massive political problems.

    • Why be ordinary

      But the people of Gibraltar also “pretty well 100%” wanted to stay in the EU. As with Ireland, EU membership provided a way in which those who don’t like where the borders currently lie could pretend for many purposes that they were not there. Brexit was a vote to make borders more meaningful. Gibraltar and Ireland are the first crunch points

      • Jim

        Being British and wanting to stay in Europe are not mutually exclusive, as we saw in the referendum. Neither is being Scottish and wanting to stay part of the UK as we saw in the cutely named Indyref 1…

    • Patrick Roden

      How do you feel about ‘Gib’ not being included in Westminsters article 50 notice, Dorothy?

      Are you not concerned that you’re about to be sold out in exchange for a decent deal for ‘Old Blighty’ or don’t you think the English would do that to their loyal subjects.

      Because it does seem strange that they ‘forgot’ to mention you!

      • michael norton

        There will probably be no deal for the U.K.
        Nobody wants a deal, so it will not happen.
        So far, there has been some posturing, to assuage Scotland , Northern Ireland
        and the remoaners.

        • Patrick Roden

          Well, if Gib is an important part of the British overseas territories, I’d have thought that they would be mentioned in the Article in such a way as to make clear that they would not be used as part of any bargaining position.

          It was the response letter to Theresa May that first mentioned Gib, so the question is two fold:

          1. Did the Tories leave the rights of Gibraltars citizens to remain under British Sovereignty, off the Article 50 Letter on purpose?

          2. Is the population of Gibraltar so unimportant to Westminster that they forgot to mention her in the letter?

          We all know Spains long term goals in this matter, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that they will use their prominent position on the EU council to attempt to take Gib back, or put another way, will the UK really sacrifice it’s own markets and risk the meltdown of London’s financial markets,
          and the crash of the pound,
          that would happen as soon as the financial sector feel that the UK wont get the deal that protects them,
          just to save the 32,000 citizens of Gibraltar from falling under Spanish control?

          If Spain has let Westminster know it will veto any deal that does not solve the dispute between Madrid and London over ‘The Rock’ Spain will get what it wants.

          Sorry, but that’s the way Westminster functions.

          • Martinned

            Here we go again, a Brit who thinks the UK gets to decide what is or is not within the scope of the negotiation. It’s a negotiation about an international agreement, the only restriction is the EU’s constitution, particularly art. 50 TEU and art. 207 TFEU. (Since the UK’s constitution doesn’t impose any restrictions.) Otherwise, if the EU wants to make ratification of the final deal contingent on Mrs. May dying her hair blue, they can do that.

    • Dirk Drijver

      Spain is notoriously​ corrupt? True, but your holy Britain is named the most corrupt country in Europe.

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “Junk article, argument full of holes”

      Isn’t it just? Poor Craig, turning into a bitter and twisted old man because his career in the FCO didn’t go according to plan.

  • billy

    You really are a twat. Get your facts right. Tax Haven!? Gibraltar is white listed im with OECD. Its been longer British than Spanish and we are not a colony as we are self governed and have out own constitution. Yoyr just a sad old man desperately seaking attention writing crap.

    • Patrick Roden

      All the things you say are probably quite true, but it does not answer the question of why the UK did not include the guarantee the political and territorial rights of people like you, in the terms of Art 50, when they are fully aware (and you will know this more than most on here) of Spain’s long term ambition to take Gibraltar under Spanish control?

      Are you not suspicious that Westminster is using you as a bargaining chip, to get Spain ‘on board’?

      We know that their has been talks between the UK and other governments over the past few months about possible Brexit deals when art 50 was launched, and we have saw a number of countries refusing to speak to the UK saying that they will not enter pre Brexit negotiations etc, etc,

      We know that Spanish ministers would definitely mentioned Gibraltar to UK ministers, as part of possible ‘sweeteners’ so can you remember any UK minister saying that in spite of what the Spaniards were saying the UK will not do deals that include Gibraltars sovereign right to remain British?

      What I am saying Billy, is you can call Craig all the twats you like, but at the same time speak to friends in Gibraltar and start asking questions and asking for assurances from Westminster about your future.

      It must be a scary time for you, but good luck.

    • Shatnersrug

      Craig’s actually a nice bloke, but I think he’s waded into something he probably shouldn’t here.

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “You’re just a sad old man desperately seeking attention writing crap”.

      You’ve noticed that too? And yet the acolytes keep on hanging on.

    • Squonk

      Curiously the show also included “A Song for Europe” segment to pick the British entry for the Eurovision song contest. Sandie Shaw sang a different song every week for viewers to vote for and, of course, “Puppet on a String” was the eventual winner that year. Given that the show featured the Eurovision Song Contest UK selection round the chances may be greater that it survives in the BBC archives.

  • RobG

    It’s many years since I was last in Gibraltar. We were staying in La Linea (or whatever it’s called), in Spain, on the other side of the runway that marks the border. At the border post, inbetween aircraft landing and taking off, you would encounter British bobbies and a red post box. It was like walking from one world to another. Most of those who are employed in Gibraltar are Spanish and make that journey every day. I found Gibraltar to be a rather strange, imitation place, lacking the realness and vibrancy of other ‘pinks bits’ like Hong Kong.

    In the interests of balance, Spain has two similar enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla.

      • Sharp Ears

        Yes. Twice. He was the UK Ambassador to those two Spanish autonomous cities! Not.

        • IrishU

          Yes, Habby mentioned the enclaves twice and both times without a response from those who are pro-Spain all of a sudden. How strange…

  • Maurice Minns

    The last time I looked the UK government still holds the title deeds to this much desired property and the current tenants have an exceedingly long lease.

    So, don’t expect any moves there for any foreseeable future.

    Sorry Craig, this splendid piece of real estate is not going to be ceded back to Spain as the English (British) have also had a longer tenure than the Spanish. Maybe it will be given back to their Moorish predecessors as they would have much more of a claim!

  • Rob Royston

    It’s not just Gibraltar. There’s hundreds of EU naval vessels all round Scotland this week, it could be the new Armada.

      • Republicofscotland

        I don’t know about Charlie Drake, however with this topic being about Spain and Britain, and the tussel for Gibralter, Sir Francis Drake, might be worth a mention.

        The Spanish saw Drake as a common pirate, raiding and attacking their ships at sea.

        The Spanish would often refer to Drake in his latin name Franciscus Drago, in English it meant Francis the Dragon. ?

    • Republicofscotland

      Well if I recall correctly the Spanish armada, had around 150 odd ships in it, I also recall there were several skirmishes but no ships on either side sank.

      The Spanish took the long way home around Scotland and lost several ships to the notoriously wild North sea weather.

      Rajoy and May should go out for a meal and settle things in a genial manner. ?

      • michael norton

        Well, there is some discussion, on de-commissioning, for a start nobody knows how to do it, this is why FRANCE is in the SHIT, they keep putting off the de-commissioning day.
        The French State will have to find hundreds of billions of Euros to de-commission its many plants.
        They constructed a giant hole in the ground, to practise temporary storage of nuclear waste, more than 1/2 k deep, it caved in trapping and killing the workers.

        They all all effectively broke.
        Everybody is pulling out of nuclear.
        It kills people and businesses.

  • Colin Granger

    Gibraltar is no more British than Spain.
    I lived and worked in Gibraltar for several months.
    Being of British birth and not Gibraltarian I was restricted in job opportunities, thousands of Spanish workers pour across the border everyday. It is a rare thing to hear English being spoken away from the tourist areas.
    The Government has control over most of the businesses their, as per who will be awarded contracts.
    It is corrupt to the core and has a huge drug problem along with smuggling problems.

    • Captain Smugglewash

      I also have worked in Gib, though never earning enough to live there I commuted from La Linea (and not even the good bit of La Linea). I can confirm that obviously, with high earnings, plenty of sunshine and coastline, that drugs are certainly widespread and yes, with little or no tax on spirits and cigarettes and Morocco a short swim away smuggling is a problem/an opportunity/rampant depending on your viewpoint 🙂

      One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen was the photograph that hangs (hung?) in La Linea Bus Station; with Gibraltar in the foreground and Spain proper extending away to the horizon, as far as the eye could see, the image saying better than i could with five hundred words: this is one contiguous piece of breathtaking geography, witness the beauty of nature and know that everything ugly at ground level is the product of man. And there is much ugliness; Second World War pillboxes and gun emplacements, huge economic disparity, nuclear submarines, warplanes, much of the UK gaming industry, the banks…

    • Martinned

      Yes, it’s a British Overseas Territory, not a part of the UK. (Although it is treated as such for certain – but not all – aspects of EU law.)

  • Alexander Sutherland

    How the hell was there more postal votes winning the No vote for independence. Just look at the numbers attending Mays attempted scolding of Scotland It’s totally laughable a Unionist charade why would you want to listen to more lies and promises we told you before fool me once shame on you fool me a second time shame on me. The law of avriges has now debunked your sincerity go back and tell your unethical hangerons their day’s are numbered.

  • michael norton

    Presidential hopeful Fillon warns FRANCE could face GREECE’s fate

    Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon warned in Corsica on Saturday that France faced the same fate as debt-ridden Greece, deliberately reviving the “failing state” controversy he stoked on the Mediterranean island 10 years ago.

    “I repeat what I said here in Corsica in 2007. We are a failing state… We have a debt that forces us to seek billions of euros each day on international markets,” Fillon told political supporters in the island. “France today is a country which can fall next to Spain. Portugal, Italy, even one day Greece”, he added. (Reuters)

    • michael norton

      So a country that has been in a State of Emergency for more than twelve months, is about to become bankrupt, will build the New Nuclear Power stations for
      The United Kingdom.

      When all these French State owned nuclear firms have gone to the wall, which they must, who will de-commission these power stations in forty years?

  • Harry

    What, so we’re meant to ignore the will of the people of Gibraltar, and say we don’t care what they want, just because you feel bad about what people who are now dead did during the days of Empire?

    By using the same logic of an “introduced Imperial population”, most Australians don’t get the right to self-determination, nor do most Americans, or Argentinians, or Brazilians, or Kiwis – just because of what their ancestors did, namely, move to these countries from European nations. Would you really say the same thing about them? Would you actually say that all the white, and African American people living in the US don’t get the right to self determination, just because their ancestors used to live in another country?

    Do you really think that the rights of Spaniards who don’t live there are more important than the rights of those who actually call Gibraltar home?

    So tell us what the UK should do, kick out all the people who live in Gibraltar because they’re the “wrong nationality” then give the Rock to the Spanish to allow them to live their? Explain why the people of Gibraltar have no rights in your opinion.

    • michael norton

      The Turks stole Hatay Province from Syria.
      The Jews stole The Golan from Syria

      • giyane

        Using Islamic jihad. What’ll happen when the same phenomenon steals the UK from the UK, I wonder? Geese , ganders.

  • Malcolm Mackinnon

    In addition 10,000 + Spanish. Workers cross the border every day to work
    Spain has responsibility for them
    That is equivalent to the entire fishing employees in.British fishing fleet

  • Tito

    There we go again…..lets feed of Gibraltar’s popularity for whatever the reason. Make some propaganda ……low cost parasitic marketing at its best….Oh by the way have you seen my new book? Suppose that criticising the City of London won’t sell too many copies. Spend some on propaganda leaflets and get a life of your own Mr Murray.

  • Sharp Ears

    Andrew Rosindell is the vice chair of the APPG for Gibraltar and is making media appearances today,

    Register Of All-Party Groups
    Gibraltar
    To represent the views of the people of Gibraltar in Parliament and work with the Government of Gibraltar, political parties and interests groups.

    Chair & Registered Contact Jack Lopresti Conservative
    President Mr Lindsay Hoyle Labour
    Secretary Robert Neill Conservative
    Vice Chair Baroness Butler-Sloss Crossbench
    Vice Chair Lord Chidgey Liberal Democrat
    Vice Chair Mr David Crausby Labour
    Vice Chair Angus Brendan MacNeil Scottish National Party
    Vice Chair Ian Paisley Democratic Unionist Party
    Vice Chair Andrew Rosindell Conservative
    Treasurer Lord Hoyle Labour
    https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/gibraltar.htm

    Lopresti is otherwise engaged. His partner Andrea Jenkyns MP has just had a baby. Congrats came from Bercow the other day. He has divorced his his wife with whom he has three children. A keen CFoI I see. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Lopresti

  • John A

    I wonder what all the Britnats would think if Spain had colonised Land’s End a few hundred years ago by force and then claimed ownership in perpetuity?

      • Republicofscotland

        Well maybe not the Spanish, but the Norman’s faired a bit better.

        William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas day in 1066. They brought with them the idea of succession, such as a kings eldest son automatically had the right to be king, after his fathers death.

        It was something the Anglo-Saxons, were not familiar with, a Anglo-Saxon king had to be elected not born, now theres a novel idea eh.

      • John A

        You don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘if’, do you Ba’al Zevul?

    • fred

      I wonder what the people of Morocco would think if Spain had colonised the Canary Islands then claimed ownership in perpetuity.

      • iJhon

        Fred, dear. You should​ investigate a bit about Morocco’s history and what was first Cannary/Spain or Morocco.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    This is pretty clearly an attempt to link Scotland’s case for leaving the UK while remaining in the EU (one plausible outcome being that Scotland might well consider becoming a tax haven ), with Gibraltar’s case for remaining in both the EU and the UK (the latter by a ~99% majority in 2002). If the 45% Out vote in Scotland qualifies you for another bite of the cherry – and I’m not saying it does – a 1% pro-Spain vote in Gibraltar wouldn’t seem to. The Gibs don’t want Spanish rule. They want the degree of autonomy they currently have, and which is at least to some extent guaranteed by the UK. The real problem is the question of a post-Brexit border, and its constraints on Gib’s commerce, which is not confined to money-laundering. Plenty of tax-easy jurisdictions exist outside the EU: that’s hardly an issue. Leichtenstein would be the model here: not in the EU, but a signatory to Schengen. The UK has not signed Schengen, but operates its own border controls, which it would be able to continue to do subject to specific checks on people coming to the mainland UK from Gibraltar – excluding registered Gibraltarian citizens – while Schengen would by agreement extend to the Gibraltar coast. Something like that?

    • Republicofscotland

      I thought the idea was that after Brexit, Britain would become a low wage tax haven, afterall the Tory government won’t be knocked off their perch by Labour anytime soon.

      Also it crossed my mind that, if Catalonia, does eventually secede from Spain, in Rajoy’s eyes, it would be nice to have Gibraltar to fall back on.

    • Stu

      Spain are not going to allow Gibraltar to be in Schengen if the UK isn’t.

      It will be a serious border. No more tobacco smuggling for a start (currently 117m packets of cigarettes a year are brought into GIb. 180 a day for every living person there including babies)

  • giyane

    In 2009 we were being told that natural gas boilers would soon be replaced by electric heat pumps for heating our houses in the UK. Therefore we would need to build nuclear power stations. Then Fukoshima happened.

    We were told in the preparations for Brexit about the economic catastrophe looming over the UK if we left the EU. Upon Brexit the UK stock market boomed. Now we are facing a Falklands style war with one of our former partners.

    These 2 phenomena are the result of rightwing government thinking which as Craig so rightly pointed out has the instincts deeply manifested by our current Prime Minister neither to confide in or nor to seek the opinion of the electorate. There are very few questions which can be answered satisfactorily by a plain yes or no. A referendum is by definition a ploy to avoid the involvement of real discussion. Hence the whacky headlines produced by non-consultation.

    The way the government treats us mirrors the capitalist system of top-down command, which is universally condemned by all business intellectuals. In global companies weekly free-for-all discussions are compulsory for highly paid staff to engage their left brains with the future development of the company.

    I totally reject the idea of a Federal, non-answerable government and I therefore voted for Brexit. So does that mean that I voted for a totally top-down, Tory hard Brexit? No of course I didn’t. The fact is that the same feeling of total frustration with top-down management at work and in national politics will definitely produce a win for Jeremy Corbyn at any future election, especially as the premise for Tory rule was that they would not borrow as much as New Labour.

    We are now a nation that has lost its rudder, its boilers, its generators and is adrift without food, toilets or air-conditioning like some marooned luxury cruise liner. Mrs tight-lipped May and Mr bigmouth Johnson face a mutiny, like the one that brought in Trump and will bring in M Melenchon. If any floating turd like Nick Clegg decides to prop up these wasters we will hang them all from the radar mast spinning round in circles like a village maypole.

    • Republicofscotland

      “We are now a nation that has lost its rudder, its boilers, its generators and is adrift without food, toilets or air-conditioning like some marooned luxury cruise liner. Mrs tight-lipped May and Mr bigmouth Johnson face a mutiny,”

      Where’s Fletcher Christian when you need him. ?

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “These 2 phenomena are the result of rightwing government thinking which as Craig so rightly pointed out has the instincts deeply manifested by our current Prime Minister neither to confide in or nor to seek the opinion of the electorate.”

      In case you failed to notice, because of course, Craig didn’t tell you what to notice, no PM in the past…well since Harold Wilson, has ever confided in, or sort the opinion of the electorate, with the sole exception of David Cameron, who gave us a free vote regarding the EU, and Craig sure is angry that the majority voted the opposite of him.

    • John A

      When nuclear power was first promoted, it as claimed that it would be so cheap and plentiful, it would be virtually free.

  • Chris

    Here is a thought…

    Spain continues to claim Gibraltar. Spain cites the UN principle of territorial integrity, through UN Resolution 1514 (XV) – which says under section 6:-
    “any attempt at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.

    Well that same document states under section 1:-
    “The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.”

    The definition of a few words as I understand them:-
    Subjugation:
    1. To bring under control; conquer.
    2. To make subservient; enslave.

    Domination:
    1. Control or power over another or others.
    2. The exercise of such control or power.

    Exploitation:
    1. The act of employing to the greatest possible advantage:
    2. Utilization of another person or group for selfish purposes:

    Spain increases the searches at the frontier causing delays and hardship for european citizens. It was done in an apparent attempt to exert control over a group of people in a territory it and the UN states still needs to be decolonized. Spanish media have run many stories about Gibraltar provided by the spanish state rallying the Spanish nation precisely at a time when the Spanish Prime Minister and government is having a lot of bad press.

    Could it be argued that this is exploiting the people of Gibraltar for the selfish purposes of the Spanish Government?
    Could it be construed that Spain has gone against the UN Charter?

    Perhaps a stretch but then so is the idea that a colony, (Gibraltar) which has existed as an English/British territory before the country that claims it (Spain) existed as a unified Nation, should be able to claim such colony on the basis of a document that was signed in 1945 some 232 years after the colony was British, right?

    • Republicofscotland

      Chris.

      “Could it be construed that Spain has gone against the UN Charter?”

      _________

      Resolutions and decisions are formal expressions of the opinion or will of UN organs.

      They sound advisory to me, otherwise, Israel wouldn’t be getting away with half the shit it’s doing in the Gaza Strip the West Bank or East Jerusalem, etc etc etc, and there’s quite a few etcetera’s, when it comes to Israel. ?

    • Martinned

      Does it have a definition of territorial integrity? Does Portugal also violate Spain’s territorial integrity? Does Andorra?

  • Gareth Evans

    I am looking forward to the brexiteers blaming the EU for Argentina’s intransigence when the UK restarts its WTO career I mean I cannot imagine the UK’s request for divergence fro its mutually EU negotiated position not being tied in some way to the Falklands position ( even if not through official channels ). Britain also has other unusual historical thefts that are about to become far more important than most Brexit supporters are going to be comfortable with

  • Sharp Ears

    RT Sputnik with Neil Clark.

    With Catherine Shakdam
    “Assad’s nothing to do with terror on our streets, he’s fighting it. So you’d think UK would support the ones actively fighting terrorism”
    http://twitter.com/RT_sputnik/status/848153155980464129

    With Dr Marcus Papadopoulus
    “Remainers say it’s going to be a disaster. Brexiters say there’s gold future for Britain. I suspect answer is somewhere in the middle”.
    http://twitter.com/RT_sputnik/status/848134471392079873

    http://www.rt.com/shows/sputnik/383062-may-brexit-terrorist-attack/

    • Sharp Ears

      and I also saw these. NATO are looking for individuals to play the part of Russian soldiers. Ability to speak English and German and Russian a bonus. 100 Euros a day!

      NATO acting up: Alliance looking for people to portray ‘Russians’ during war drills https://www.rt.com/news/382824-nato-games-russian-actors/

      followed by

      ‘NATO calls Russia an aggressor, at the same time Russia finds itself surrounded by NATO troops’
      https://www.rt.com/op-edge/383072-nato-russian-actors-drills/

      • Why be ordinary?

        the question for RT is why countries which were liberated by the red army and had the experience of an entre generation of fraternal association with the USSR, so rapidly tried to become NATO members as soon as they became democracies?

        • lysias

          Those countries had very bad experiences as Soviet satellite states. It’s understandable that they should want protection against the new, non-Communist Russia.

          Those who are to blame are the Western NATO powers who extended NATO membership and protection to those countries, when it obviously represented a serious provocation to the new Russia.

          When Soviet nuclear weapons were supplied to Communist Cuba in what had been a U.S. sphere of influence, the U.S. nearly started a world nuclear war.

          • lysias

            Also, extending NATO eastwards was a violation of commitments the U.S. made at the time of German reunification.

            Russia is right to regard it as a betrayal.

          • Why be ordinary?

            In other words, what the countries themselves want does not matter. A big country has the right to control over its neighbours? If so, should not England have the right to control over Ireland- or at least to dictate what Ireland can do with third countries?

          • lysias

            Small countries should have the right to be free, but other countries should be reluctant to extend military guarantees to them.
            Without the Russian guarantee to Serbia, or, for that matter, without the German guarantee to Austria, World War One would not have happened.

        • bevin

          One important factor was that emigre communities, the lineal descendants of the fascist dictatorships defeated by the Red Army, and subsidised for half a century by the ‘west’ as Cold war resources, both military and political, leaped into the vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union and consolidated their power by joining the EU and NATO.
          In reality, despite Cold War sanctions which crippled eastern European economies, most regimes in the Warsaw Pact delivered relatively high living standards and social security/education services to the people they served.

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “Sputnik was launched on 10 November 2014 by Rossiya Segodnya, an agency wholly owned and operated by the Russian government, which was created by an Executive Order of the President of Russia on December 9, 2013.”

      “Sputnik has been widely accused of bias, disinformation and being a Russian propaganda outlet.”

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2014/11/10/kremlins-sputnik-newswire-is-the-buzzfeed-of-propaganda/

      http://www.stopfake.org/en/how-russia-weaponizes-fake-news/

      H.T.H

  • John

    Who cares if the residents of Gibraltar are descended from Spaniards or not. If we all had to give up land our ancestors didn’t live in, then most of the world’s population has a problem.

    • RobG

      JOML, the ironic things is, on a board where openly fascist/racists are allowed to freely post, those of us on the other side of the spectrum are censored.

      Thanks for the link to ‘All You Fascists’, a Woody Guthrie song, and Woody of course had that famous slogan written on his guitar: ‘this machine kills fascists’.

      And now of course I’m bound to chuck in the ‘Great Leap Forward’, even though it will probably all be deleted by a bunch of complete lunatics who are going to be dealt with.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZaYEniPaJg

  • JOML

    Sorry, RobG, I tried to reply to your last post about William Blake’s poem but it’s been deleted. Anyway, unfortunately “dark Satanic Mills” are still relevant today – and so is this Woody Guthrie song, sung by Billy Bragg…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dWBeGK96pVQ
    Hope the sun is shining in your garden tomorrow.

    • RobG

      JOML, I don’t know what part of the world you’re in, but peace be with you brother or sister.

      Trust me, we will achieve a better world, once the vermin are swept away.

      Look at the vermin now, all screaming for war whilst their own countries are completely collapsing, war and lies and deceit all egged-on by the presstitutes, who have to be the lowest of the low by any human standards.

      • JOML

        Hi RobG, I’m from and live in Ecosse, the Highlands but bound to Edinburgh for work. My ‘sort’ get decried as nationalists, anti-English, etc. for wanting self determination but nothing could be further from the truth. I detest those countries who depend on war for their economies to survive and, unfortunately, our U.K. is up to their knees in this shitty game – another reason for self determination, although no country can escape the evil. Too depressing to think about. I follow your links about what’s going on in France and hope it turns out well for the human race. France, like the U.K. have profited too much from manufacturing weapons for others to kill each other. Time for change . Slainte and all the best.

        • RobG

          JOML, I’ve always loved the Highlands and the Western Isles (apart from the weather!).

          I have no strong view about Scottish independence, except that if you guys want it you should go for it.

          I completely agree with you about war economies and all the rest of it.

          We do live in very mad times.

          But I’m confident that there are enough sane people to counter it all.

          Here in France we say santé (health and happiness).

          • JOML

            Interesting – slainté is good health in Gaelic. My mother’s family is from the Uist’s, so well aware of the weather – and the beauty!

          • RobG

            JOML, I’d move like a shot to the Outer Hebrides (or whatever they’re called now), but someone like me would find it hard to earn a living, despite the fact that I’m well used to rural life.

            So I live in middle-of-nowhere France and can only ponder on the Auld Alliance.

        • fred

          ” I detest those countries who depend on war for their economies to survive and, unfortunately, our U.K. is up to their knees in this shitty game – another reason for self determination, although no country can escape the evil.”

          Back in 2003 when we went to war with Iraq the Prime Minister was a Scot, the Chancellor was a Scot, the Leader of the Opposition was a Scot and the leader of the next largest party was a Scot.

          You are looking for excuses to divide, the Scots are no different to anyone else, no holier than the rest, not superior in that respect.

          • RobG

            I totally disagree with your assessment that Scots are complete psychopaths, which is what you seem to be saying.

            What is the matter with you lunatics who constantly scream for war and violence?

            I assume that most of you do have children.

            Absolute-fecking-headcases.

        • JOML

          Fred, I said “our” UK, so wasn’t divorcing myself or Scotland from the situation. Your “no holier than the rest” comment is straight of the stereotypical shelf.

          • JOML

            Hi Fred, Scotland doesn’t control it’s destiny. It is in bed with an elephant, regularly getting squashed. I know you will have a different perspective, so it’s a bit pointless us playing tennis with posts. I can appreciate the perspective of those who believe ‘Britain’ is a country, so it’s very much an ‘agree to differ’ situation. Unfortunately, it’s all to easy to get entwined in cul de sac debates but, if you have fundamentally different perspectives, it’s fruitless and negative. Woody Guthrie had an abundance of songs and Billy Bragg was fortunate enough to get access to unpublished songs, along with a band Wilko. You’ll likely already heard this, but this song is a cracker…
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLQk76ghIud8pxaYDlHkWUhKQEFxPWh-85&v=1GDU6ns2mRM
            Slainté

          • fred

            Yes I have a different perspective.

            My perspective is that it is better to unite than to divide.

          • JOML

            More importantly, Fred, did you like the song? (Music unites people better than anything. Well, wine/beer/cider/whisky aside.)

          • reel guid

            fred

            Since Scotland wishes to stay in the EU then the Scottish people are displaying that very principle of seeking unity over division which you extol. You are simply projecting the divisive and xenophobic mood of a large part of a large country’s population onto a large part of a much smaller neighbouring country’s population.

            Scotland has been denied a veto over Brexit and did not vote for any kind of Brexit let alone the hard version May’s administration is pursuing. May is denying Scotland the right to make a choice. That is hardly unity of the edifying kind.

            I know you’ll say Scotland did make a choice in 2014. Yes indeed it did. But everyone – countries as well as individuals – should always have the right to a change of beliefs if we are to call ourselves in any way civilised.

          • fred

            There is no evidence people have changed their beliefs, the majority still don’t want independence and the minority are still trying to impose their will on the majority. Meanwhile the uncertainty of the constant neverendum and campaigning for indyref(n) is harming Scotland.

          • reel guid

            fred

            If you’re convinced there’s still a majority in Scotland for staying in the UK then you should go for it. Imagine how much you’d enjoy talking about Scotland’s double affirmation of the union.

            Or is it that you and fellow unionists are very uncertain of the No vote prevailing again? In which case an objection to another vote could hardly be said to be based on devotion to democratic principles.

          • fred

            Then after indiref2 it would be indiref3 the Nationalists would just keep holding referendums till they got the result they wanted.

            There is no evidence the result would be any different than last time. As what they claim the SNP don’t have a mandate. While education suffers, the health service suffers, policing suffers, transport suffers, the First Minister who’s government hasn’t managed to pass a single law in the last 12 months is swanning off to America trying to drum up support for another failed attempt at independence.

            If you’re so confident you can win a referendum then wait till after 2021 and fight the election on that manifesto, people should know better the consequences of Brexit by then so would be able to vote informed.

          • michael norton

            What about the two hundred million pounds Police Scotland have wasted/lost/mislaid/misappropriated?

          • reel guid

            fred

            You talked of Scotland facing uncertainty over another referendum. Yet what greater uncertainty than Scotland’s prospect of being out the EU single market? What greater uncertainty than the prospect of Scotland’s HNS losing the services of thousands of EU nationals who staff it?

            The uncertainty of how a very authoritarian and intransigent Westminster is going to govern Scotland. More austerity and privatisation. Less and less free and fair media. The manipulation of devolved government.

        • JOML

          Excellent version, Dr, although I don’t think Woody was responsible. Any government who would deliberately provide blankets infected with tuberculosis to the native Americans must have been truly evil. Updated versions of the same Government continues to do similar deeds. Thanks for the link.

  • Peter mould

    Mr murray have you just one side of the story ,you said 96% of gibraltarians voted to stay in the EU this is not quite true as 46000 gibraltarians live in the UK most of them voted leave the EU. And also why does Spain want Gibraltar as you say it isviewed as a tax haven that is all they want it for, if they cared about that region of Spain they would help laLinea which is in such a state it is Gibraltar who helps la Linea half of Gibraltar work force is Spanish.These are real live you are just putting into numbers .it is not about history because if it was and we changed everthing back 300 yeare the world map would a lot different. Do you also know Gibraltar is the only place in the world that Christians Jews and Muslims are happy together crime is one of the lowest in the world so we could all learn from Gibraltar and the diverse cultures that live there I am not a gibraltarian I am Welsh I’m proud to be British gibraltarians are also proud to be British. I think we’ve given enough to the EU

    • Drew Anderson

      Peter mould,

      …”46000 gibraltarians live in the UK most of them voted leave the EU”…

      I’d like to know where you got that from.

  • geoff

    Oh come on – they are British and have lived there for over 200. its great to read your views, but this is beyond bias

  • Brianfujisan

    Bawhair At top of page –

    ” Your are really an UK-hater.”

    Craig Says he was Proud to be a UK Ambassador… A Lump in his Throat Driving along with the Ambassador’s Flags Flying…

    Then he got Down in the Dirt with the People ( of Uzbekistan )

    Torture
    Rapes
    Lies
    Murders
    Political Prisoners
    UK, US Collusion in All of it…

    For four wars – So far – Then there’s Yemen, Palestine.

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “Then he got Down in the Dirt with the People ( of Uzbekistan ) ”

      I do believe that is exactly what Craig’s first wife also claimed. If you can’t see that a man who will cheat on his wife is a man who will cheat on anybody…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Murray

      I mean, talking about “Kept women” it was Craig who said, after beginning a relationship with Nadira Alieva, an Uzbek woman whom he met while she was working as a belly dancer in a nightclub in Tashkent.”I astonished her by saying that I wanted her to give up the club and be my mistress. I explained that I could not marry her, as I was married, but I would keep her. I gave her my card and urged her to phone me”.

      I mean to say, did he not once swear at some ceremony, either religious or legal, to love honour and obey the original Mrs Murray?

      Sorry, but sometimes you are just forced to ask the awkward questions, and as it is now my birthday, I have granted myself the right to ask them. Happy Birthday to me!

      • Brianfujisan

        I do believe that is exactly what Craig’s first wife also claimed. If you can’t see that a man who will cheat on his wife is a man who will cheat on anybody…

        Oh Deary Me

        Read full Book EH

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